December 5, 2012

Watch out Lake Placid!

This next week, for the first time, all 210 members of Special Olympics Team USA will be in historic Lake Placid, New York for Special Olympics Team USA's official training camp, prior to their participation in the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in the Republic of Korea. Alex Bender will be there as one of the 150 athletes on Team USA.

Alex has received her TEAM USA bag and luggage tags with a detailed packing list. She will spend the next three days packing and identifying which articles we need to purchase. Alex never needs assistance packing, she goes item by item on the list and crosses off each item as it is located and packed.

Since Alex lives in the mountains, we will make the 3 hour drive to Denver on Saturday and stay at a hotel by the airport (thanks Special Olympics). On Sunday at 7 AM Alex will meet up the five other athletes from Colorado and a coach and spend the day traveling to Albany, NY.

Once there her schedule will be as follows:

Monday ALL and registration
7-8:20PM....dinner and welcome building activity (each sport will be assigned a room) meeting
10-10:45pm..coaches meeting
11pm...........curfew for all

Tuesday and Wednesday:
9-noon.........AM practice
noon-1pm....lunch at the venue 
1-3pm.........PM practice
3:15-4pm....break out session back at the hotel
***dinner and activities will be from 6-9pm each night
10-10:45pm....coaches meeting

8:30-11am.....AM training session
11:30-1:30pm...lunches and pickup for transport back to Albany
7-9pm..........dinner (Korea night) dance
10-10:45pm...coaches meeting

6am----???...athletes and coaches head back to home states 

Alex will most likely have no time to call me (I hope she does), or even text (I hope she does). For six days, until I pick Alex up at the Denver airport at 10:30 AM on Friday I may not hear a word from or about Alex. And when I pick-up Alex, not only will she have new ski wear, a duffel bag, opening and closing ceremony outfits and other assorted sportswear we will have a different Alex.

She will have experienced independence, and new friendships and she will have grown. I am not hoping this is the case I know. Every time Alex has gone out in to the world, un-chaperoned by her parents (yes we are deterrents), she grows. She learns what she CAN do and not what she CAN NOT and she learns to respect the meaning of team and the importance of her contribution.

I cannot wait for her to come back, and she has even left yet!


  1. What a brilliant adventure! We are so proud of her!!! And glad that you are keeping us updated!

    1. Thanks Nan, she is so "focused" on this that she it is hard to talk to her about anything else!

  2. Oh my goodness! Such an amazing opportunity for Alex... and for you! I look forward to hearing all about this trip! Even if it is after she gets back. :)

    1. Thanks Cindy, I think I am more excited than Alex right now, I hope she calls when she is gone...but just like my other two - she is on a "need to know" basis with me these days.

  3. So excited for Alex. Have Alex look for Robbie Knoodle from Cincinnati. He is a friend of my kids and is on the Alpine Ski team.

    1. It is such a small world! I will tell Alex to look for Robbie - she loves meeting new boys :)


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