2013 Central American and CaribbeanUnified Soccer Invitational
The Central America Unified Soccer Invitational will take place in San Jose, Costa Rica from May 9-17 in regional professional soccer stadiums (Cuty Monge and Coleya Fonseca). Team USA is made up entirely of Washington and Oregon Special Olympics Athletes as well as Unified Partners from the Sounders FC Development Team.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Wow! Thoughts on Opening Ceremony
That. Was. Awesome! Special Olympics Latin America did such an amazing job putting together an Opening Ceremony filled with Latin culture, dancing, and music! (Even a suspended pianist!!!) We left the hotel in a caravan with the other teams from the hotel and we were escorted through San Jose with full police escort, presidential style! Cars were stopped, intersections were blocked off, and the streets were filled with onlookers! We arrived early and were directed to a staging area. As the only US press (and apparently the only English speaking one as well), I didn't have much direction. So what do I do? Bismarck to the rescue! With his help, I managed to end up in the press box. He had to go back to the team and I learned very quickly none of the press spoke English! With a little "sign language," I discovered I had access to the pitch. That was followed by two hours of running around, being yelled at in Spanish, taking photos and some video, filling my shoes involuntarily with pitch pelts, and being in absolute awe at how much pomp an circumstance was put into these Opening Ceremonies! It was the best feeling ever to see Team USA and all the other teams being treated like star athletes! Better pictures to follow, but here's a tiny, cell phone photo, sneak peek!
Panorama shot of the full stadium. (Thousands of spectators.)