Athens, T-minus 1 (day)
I'm sitting in a hotel room, near LAX, waiting for my early morning flight. I'm anxious. Nervous. Excited.
From 6/25 thru 7/4, the 2011 Special Olympics World Games are taking place in Athens, Greece. This is the world stage; it's much bigger than the Summer Games we (in Southern California) put on at Cal State Long Beach each June (which, coincidentally, occurred last weekend). There will be almost 7,000 athletes, from 181 different countries, competing in 23 different sports.
My job begins on 6/21. I will be working on a committee as support for the Games Management System (GMS) software, which is what we use to handle games registration, credentials, scheduling, divisions, brackets, and results. As part of my job, for SOSC, I oversee the organization's usage of GMS, so this is a natural fit for me. Though, I'm really hoping that I won't be "stuck" in front of a computer the whole time.
I'm not entirely sure what I'm getting into. This will be my first time on this committee, and my first World Games experience. To add another layer of challenges, the GMS software version we are using (v6.0) is new, and has many user interface and feature updates and additions. This is the first time v6.0 will be used during a competition event. And, we're working with a Games Organizing Committee (GOC) made up mostly of Greek citizens, so there's the element of communication that we need to be wary of as well.
All in all, I'm looking forward to this. This is a tremendous opportunity and a big set of new challenges for me to take on (I love facing new challenges at work). I'm nervous because, I want to perform at my absolute best until the World Games close. I'm anxious because, I want to dive right into work. And, I'm excited because... well, I get to go to Greece!
I plan to write a post at the end of each day. I want to capture each day's highs and lows. I think that these few weeks are going to fly by very quickly.
You can follow the Games at: [athens2011.org/en/](http://athens2011.org/en/)
You can follow the Team USA athletes at: [www.specialolympicsteamusa.org/2011/](http://www.specialolympicsteamusa.org/2011/)
(SOSC has eight athletes competing as part of Team USA).