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My First USA Games!

Hi, my name is Lucy Fengxian Balthazaar I’m an athlete from Multnomah County. I got the opportunity to compete at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida. I competed in the sport of swimming. I competed in the 25 freestyle and 25 backstroke and the 4 by 25 freestyle relay final. I got a silver medal in the 25 freestyle final and two fourth place ribbons in the 25 backstroke and 4 by 25 freestyle relay final. 

My favorite part of USA Games was the opening ceremonies as I enjoyed walking with the Oregon delegation and meeting other delegates from different states and countries.  We also got to see our very own Shawn Hinz perform on the main stage with Sara Bareilles … We all were so proud.  Another fond memory was spending time with my aquatics team at Healthy Athletes, the dining areas, and the dance tent. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to get to go and experience my 1st USA Games. 

Although the opening ceremonies was my favorite memory from USA Games, what I am most proud of was winning my silver medal in the 25 freestyle final. The reason is because Special Olympics makes me feel included and happy and that I’m able to compete on the playing field without being judged. When I was at USA Games it made me feel excited and I got to perform on a national stage and bring home my silver medal. Not many people have the opportunity, but I qualified for USA games, and I am incredibly proud. I am a Special Olympics USA Games medalist and few people can say that.  Sports and competition at USA Games will forever have changed my life.  

I want to say thank you for the people who have supported me especially my parents for choosing me and adopting me. Thank you to my assistant manager and my coworkers who donated and my former speech therapist.  I want to say thank you to all the coaches and staff that put their time and effort to make this USA Games a positive experience for all of us. Most of us was our first time competing at USA Games for others it was a second time. And for all of us it was a life changing experience getting to be able to go and show our talents on a national stage.