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  • Advaith Nair

2019 FTC World Championships

Six. Whole. Years. From a surface perspective, it's just a simple number that I can count on both my hands. Looking back at it though, it's nearly one-thirds of my life that I have spent dedicated to this activity. Throughout the entirety of this competition, I not only had to deal with the stress of making my team proud, but also with the reality that in just a few days, those six years of commitment and competition will be done.

To quickly summarize our results, we were ranked 2nd Place in prelims in the Franklin Division. As the alliance captain, we picked team 7105 SWIFT Robotics and 7172 Technical Difficulties, and created arguably the strongest alliance in our division. Though we played strong matches, we ultimately lost to the 1st Seeded Alliance, who went on to win the World Championships. As for awards, we won the Promote Award and got Finalist for the Connect Award, both of which I'm extremely thrilled about. This marks the most successful season that Overcharged has ever had.

But this also marks the most impactful season that I have had. Not because of what all I've taught my fellow teammates, but what I learned. Really because of what I earned. Every judge is given a "You Inspire Me" pin to give out to people they feel are inspiring to varying degrees. After participating in a 20 minute judging interview with three different judges, one judge heard my story in FTC and awarded me with the "You Inspire Me" pin. And at that moment, I had a huge realization that really got me thinking about my entire FTC career.

I've spent the entirety of this year with the main goal of winning the world championships in mind, with the means of winning to make an impact on others. However, what I didn't realize until that moment was that I already have made a large enough impact on many. Not only the kids on my team, but kids across the state of Oregon but also various kids around the world! One of them came up to me during worlds and thanked me in a long conversation we had regarding how I could help his team next year. But on top of this, a judge at the world's stage has honored me for doing exactly this. I couldn't be more proud.

But looking back at that six years is something I do almost every day now. I'm certainly going to miss FTC, as it's been a pivotal part of my life. I've learned so many skills from that single activity, and I genuinely hope that everyone gets the opportunity to experience it at least once in their lifetime. Whether it's my upbringing on Team 7013 Hot Wired, or my exit with Team 12599 Overcharged, I'm glad to have impacted many throughout my journey. But to everyone that I have helped, you have really helped me continue on this journey and have impacted me in ways I wouldn't have anticipated.

So as a final goodbye, I have to leave it very simple. Thank you.

This is Advaith, the now ex-captain of Team 12599 Overcharged signing off. Once and for all.

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