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This was the inaugural year of FIRST global. The one thing that stood out through was the determination, spirit and energy of the teams. Most of them had to overcome challenges and work incredibly hard to get to the competition, and when they did, their passion and persistence really shone through. They were all incredibly friendly, from the hugs from the Indian moms to the fantastic hats and wigs of Teams Peru and Lebanon. The scale of the event really struck us as well. The entirety of South America and North America were represented, with about 85% of African countries and 75% of Asia and Europe. It wasn’t an exaggeration when stating that the whole world had come together. As if the 158 countries represented weren’t enough, the number of ambassadors and press who had come to support teams and the event was almost unreal. It was breathtaking when the teams were parading out and waving their flags during the Opening Ceremonies and forming the globe with the flashlights. Several teams that we are friends with and have seen at competitions were also volunteering such as 4924 Tuxedo Pandas, 6347 Geared Up, 5421 RM’d and Dangerous, and 10078 Enginerds. Several FRC teams were there as well, such as Centreville Robotics and Hall of Fame team 341 Miss Daisy. It was great to make new friends within the FIRST community and hopefully see them at future events and competitions. Overall, the event was an amazing experience, and a rare opportunity, since it will be in Mexico City next year.
Another thing that was really awesome was meeting Team Palestine! We worked with them to get them ready for the tournament.