This was written by one of our mentors when he was a student to capture a moment in time at a competition.

From the stands…

“Aztechs, Aztechs, Aztechs…,” the chant fills the crowd. We have made many friends, but we have made no enemies. The competition is a show of friendship and camaraderie. It is a show of ingenuity and triumph. Yet with triumph can come failure but being here means that none of us have truly failed.

Being in the stands gave me a chance to observe the competition… to observe the festivities… to be part of the festivities. We chanted and we screamed; we fell silent at the incredible triumphs of ourselves and other teams, and mourned in the bad luck of those less fortunate.

We are a family, strong and well knit, but we are also competitors, on the field battling for the points, and off the field fighting hard to be heard over the roar of the crowd.

We all cheered for ourselves, of course, but we all also cheered for everyone else, which is strange in the heat of such a rigorous competition. In reflection, it is impossible to compare the atmosphere of FIRST to the atmosphere of any other competition. In sports you have the home and the away teams, and in war you have both allies and enemies, but at a FIRST competition, all you have are friends playing with friends. You don’t really win or lose; you either get more points and congratulate your opponent on a job well done, or you get fewer points and get congratulated for your efforts.       

The thrill is not in the win but in the game, the experience not in the destination but in the journey.

Shawn Prashaw
Team 157