Each of the ranking teams would stand and wave while the crowd cheered for them. If any of the top 10 teams came from your state, the entire section of teams from that state with stand and cheer with pride. Destination Imagination is a serious 'sport' in Texas, where it has by FAR the highest participation per capita compared to anyplace else in the world. As a result, Texas is allowed to send way more teams than any other region in the world. With a team member count of 3,000, anytime Texas teams cheered, the roar was deafening.
It was like a great party! Texas also has a reputation for being the most hyper-competitive place in the world for DI, so Texas teams have always placed well at the global level. There was always a Texas team in the top 10 in every event so we did a lot of cheering, jumping in joy, and screaming. It was such fun.
When our event finally was announced we saw our name on the board listed as 7th place overall. We had competed against 86 teams from around the world and we were delighted to score so well. We cheered and screamed and jumped up and down and were just delighted. In addition to the regular rankings in each event, they also announced one medal for the top Instant Challenge score.
When they called our name for the Instant Challenge winner, we could scarcely believe our ears. We never ever expected to score first in instant challenge. It took us a moment to register the fact that our team name was called. We flew out of our seats into the air screaming like maniacs. Then we made the victory lap running around the floor of the stadium while the arena cheered for us.
Just look at these faces! This was backstage as we were waiting to have official portraits done.
What an amazing thing for these children to be able to say they were the best in the whole world in this event. It's rather interesting to compare this to our earlier experiences with DI when they thought they would never be able to get the hang of this instant challenge. Sarah didn't even participate in the instant challenge portion of the competition our first year in DI, because it was so difficult for her. There are so many emotions and it was great to see our years of training and sacrifice be rewarded.
After the Closing Ceremonies, there were parties until midnight. In true Global Finals fashion, the parties were filled with food, live music, dancing, and dozens of games and inflatables to play on. At the party venue the official scores were posted for every team in every event. Here we are in 7th overall, and our last score on the right shows our Instant Challenge score. Our raw score was 90 out of 100 points, then it was scaled to a perfect 100 since we had the highest score.