Members of the 2015 Universiade American Track and Field Team enjoyed Sunday, July 5, as they met, played with and befriended some children from Gwangju at the MDream Orphanage that afternoon.
Jack Hoyt, Team USA Coach, appreciated the chance to give back to the Gwangju community and see his team come together. “It gave our team an opportunity to do something together that was meaningful and off the field of competition,” he said.
Angel Lam, MDream Mentor, appreciated having the best athletes come for a visit. “They act as an inspiration and mentor to the kids at MDream in chasing their own dreams.”
Walking around together, the children and athletes met someone new whenever the music stopped. After teams of children and athletes were created, five large groups played team games that included stacking wheels stuffing Oreo cookies into their mouths.
Working in pairs, no duo was able to stack the 10 wheels successfully. But on their own, many children and athletes successfully moved a single cookie from their foreheads to their mouths by only moving their faces.
Such entertaining games were followed by testimonies given by two Christian athletes, sharing how it is possible to incorporate their faith in their sports. Afterward, each of these athletes introduced themselves to the group, their educational pursuits and what sports competitions they were involved in. The event concluded with group and personal pictures.
After this experience, Hoyt shared that many of the athletes had never left the U.S.A. previously. “I really hoped that each athlete would have a better awareness of the world and their role in it.”
Hoyt also expressed how much he loved the experience at MDream, especially what he witnessed. “It was rewarding for me to watch the athletes pay so much attention to the children and watch the children warm up.”
Lam appreciated that the athletes showed an example worth following. “[The children] should not be overwhelmed by their aspirations, because these athletes weren’t, and their accomplishments have shown just how far individuals can go if they set their minds to it.”