With the 2013 World Dwarf Games coming to an end, athletes are able to start reflecting on the week spent together. Although some participants have gone to the games every year and others are experiencing something brand new, athletes from around the world have gained more than just medals and awards.
“I’ve competed locally at the regular Little People of America conference, but it’s different when you’re competing with international athletes,” USA athlete April Brazier said. “I get excited when I know I’m competing with someone other than from the U.S.”
Brazier and USA athlete Faith Pedersen recalled gifts they’ve received from some of the athletes they competed against, astonished by the genuine kindness from strangers.
“They all seem so excited to be here,” Brazier continued. “For example, I had someone from Australia beat me and she brought these little clips of koala bears and after the game she was like ‘thanks for the great match’ and she gave me the koala bear clip. That is so nice.”
United Kingdom athlete Ben Holmes not only traveled abroad for the first time, but he also made his first trip by plane to attend the World Dwarf Games. Never having gone to the games before, he said he thought the experience would be well worth the distance traveled.
“I really wanted to be a part of it,” Holmes said. “It’s brilliant, it’s absolutely amazing. It’s just the way everyone’s together and we’re on a level playing field … It’s fair game.”
Some of the athletes appreciated the little things while looking back on the week. England athlete Michael Thompson said one of the aspects he most enjoyed about the games were the facilities provided by MSU. Thompson has been playing at the dwarf games for about nine years, and said he couldn’t remember a location with facilities as nice.
“This is the most outstanding facility that I’ve seen the dwarf games at,” Thompson said.
Thompson discussed other small gratitude’s he had experienced while at the games, such as shaking hands with opposing teams after matches.
“Some of the highlights of the day are shaking hands with the opposition at the end of the match,” Thompson said. “You actually make friends. Yesterday I was playing soccer and The Statesmen, we’ve been eyeing them up all week. Once that game was played, I was happy I could finally shake hands with them.”
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