(Above: Luis Zapata (left) and Wells Thompson (center) shake hands and accept the Special t-shirts upon arrival in Seattle)
Not long after we arrived in Seattle, we headed out for a team meal at Cheesecake Factory. It took some of the athletes a little time to relax and feel comfortable, after all, this is one of the first times many of them have been away from the comforts of family and home. But as we've all experience, sports has a way of making us comfortable when we can share our passion with others that feel the same way.
After dinner, we brought the Olympians to the Rapids team hotel to greet the team as they arrived. (The Rapids team trained in Colorado this morning and came to Seattle on a later flight than we did).
And this is when the Olympian really began to feel at ease. As the Rapids players got off the bus and walked into the hotel, the Olympians greeted them with "Let's go Rapids" chants and presented each player with Special Olympics Colorado grey and orange t-shirt. The back had a string of positive one word messages, such as "RESPECT, STRENGTH, PASSION, DETERMINATION, FRIENDSHIP, etc."
They then gave head coach Oscar Pareja a Colorado Rapids flag that all the Olympians signed as a gesture of good luck from another member of our One Club. Omar Cummings was then requested to join them in a team photo (below).
On a more humorous note, we told the Olympians that it was Rapids traveling PR rep Rachel Sweeney's birthday. So when they saw, they united to sing her Happy Birthday.
Wayne Brant is the Colorado Rapids Marketing Manager, who is traveling with the Special Olympics Colorado athletes on the trip to Seattle.