Our journey begins!
Meeting time in Terminal 4 of JFK was 6:15am. We were all a bit sleepy because it was daylight savings time so sadly, we lost an hour we’d never get back! We also reconnected with Liam, a snow shoe athlete from Lake Placid we met in Vermont in December. He was traveling with Coach David to meet the rest of his sport in Austria. There was A LOT of luggage and equipment. Once we figured out where to check-in as a group, Coach Liz started to call each player down and have the Delta agent issue boarding passes one at a time. We were DC bound! Many members of our family and Coach Joe’s colleagues from 721M (Superintendent Ketler Louissaint, Principal Sholom Fried, Anne Bello & Joe Bello, Pat Shapiro & Doug Rebecca) came to see us off. It was really special to have our own cheering squad! Thanks!!!
Next we went through security and that’s when the adventure began. Some of the athletes had water bottles, large lotion, vaseline, etc. in their carry on.TSA did not handle this very well. It was delay after delay after delay! Once we cleared TSA, our biggest challenge was getting to the gate which might as well have been back in Manhattan because Gate 47 was the furthest one possible in Terminal 4. Eventually, we made it on the plane but not before we had to delay the departing flight to ensure our entire team made it on. Not exactly the announcement we were hoping the pilot would make about us being on the flight! Oh well, the important thing is once we got on the flight, some fell asleep for the 1 hour long flight while others listened to music and caught their breath from all that running. Now we all know better about the sizes of containers that we carry on! Lesson learned.
Upon arrival at DCA (National Airport), we were greeted by Bill Fields, Floor Hockey (FH) manager for these world games. He put a blue ribbon to designate our luggage and equipment bags as FH and loaded them onto the designated transportation trucks outside. Then we boarded the buses for the Renaissance Hotel near DCA. Upon arrival, we got our bags and went upstairs to check-in. First, we received a ziploc bag of 40 pins to trade with other nations. The pins are awesome. We also received USA beaded bracelets made for us by young children with special needs in Colorado who wanted to wish us luck.