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Team North Carolina - 2018 USA Games July 6, 2018

Team NC celebrates personal bests and birthdays

Attending a Special Olympics USA Games is already an exciting experience, but celebrating your birthday while doing so? Well, that’s just icing on the cake!

Team NC knows a thing or two about birthday cake thanks to four team members celebrating their birthdays while in Seattle. Bob Molloy and Anna Coleman of Team NC athletics celebrated their 66th and 22nd birthdays, respectively, on July 5. Their birthday party on the track was unlike any they’ve ever had, but they certainly enjoyed themselves, especially when standing on the awards podium.

Additional Team NC members who are celebrating their birthdays in Seattle include Patrick Jones of Team NC basketball who turned 28 and Laura Shively of Team NC flag football who turned 24.

Happy birthday, Team NC!

Team sports take the day by storm

Basketball, flag football and volleyball all win awards

Team NC volleyball came pouring out of the gym, cheering and hugging. They’d won their first game of the day and their first game in Seattle. It was a moment they couldn’t have imagined any better.

“We finally won today and I’m really, really, really excited!! It’s like a dream come true!” shouted Darius Robinson, his excitement palpable.

After a difficult start to the week, Team NC volleyball needed this boost. They also needed to remember the basics.

“We improved by staying calm and having good teamwork,” said Harry Kaiser.

That calm attitude and focus on teamwork finally paid off on the court as the team won a 4th place ribbon that they’ll receive on July 6. The athletes’ smiles and cheers were contagious to all those around them!

But Team NC volleyball athletes weren’t the only ones celebrating. Team NC flag football and Team NC basketball both took trips to the awards podium, winning a 4th place ribbon and a silver medal, respectively.

Their journeys were far more alike than different. All three teams faced tough competition throughout the week in Seattle and needed to adjust their game plans. Thanks to the coaches and their willingness to learn, each team made the necessary adjustments and improved their level of play during the week.

As competition drew to a close for the team sports on July 5, each athlete and Unified partner knew they’d left it all on the field of play and their coaches couldn’t have asked for anything more.

In my own words

Hear what Seattle is like directly from Team NC's coaches!

“The best thing about Special Olympics is how authentic the athletes are - they take you as you are.” - Kevin Rumley, Team NC bocce coach

“This has been such a great experience! Well-trained volunteers have really made this a positive experience for the athletes.” - Rory Riley-Topping, Team NC gymnastics

“I am so proud of my team. They worked really hard and stuck with it!” - Lewis McLean, Team NC volleyball

Check out these photos from day 5!

See the highlights from July 5:

Stay up to date with the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games by tuning into ESPN!

Cheer on Team NC by donating online today here!

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