Many of you may have been shamelessly procrastinating at work by following updates about our U23 Worlds games online. Job well done! Most of the info you read was probably a point by point description of our games. To be honest, in my brain most of the games are a blur of cheering, smiling, running and rain. So I thought I would scribble down a few moments that I remember which probably weren’t on the twitter updates. More of a highlights reel of what happened off the field and how our team grew closer, stronger and had way more fun than I ever thought possible.
It’s our first day at Worlds and after lunch we we’re going to play Australia. We had made friends with Big Tom on the bus; the boyfriend of an Australian mixed player. Later, walking towards the field, we overheard Big Tom telling some of his compatriots all about how we had just lost to Japan on universe point and how close the game was. They replied with an incredulous “whaaaaaat?” That they had underestimated just how awesome we were made me feel pretty cool. That was , however, before we actually played Australia and got wrecked. Oh well.
A lot of my memories seem to involve dancing, mostly because Skinny brought the Maties Dance Circle to the Wild Dogs team. We had a dance circle during every warm up, half time and in the spirit circle. We played 2 games a day, that’s 6 dance circles a day and 30 dance circles in a week. I can honestly say that I didn’t get tired of them once. It not only improved our dancing skills but it also brought us together as a team. It’s really difficult not to enjoy yourself when Pistol Pete was doing the ‘Salmon’ or when Chinese Taipei just happened to have three very accomplished break dancers in their team.
A flash back to Thulie being awesome – while warming up to play Canada, Lucky’s boom box started playing Rhianna’s song ‘Bitch better have my money’. Thulie shrieked and proceeded to sing all the words really loudly. Laughing while running is super hard, especially when trying to keep up with your captain who is singing at the top of her lungs about bitches as we ran past the other team.
That time when Yuandre caught her first disc in the end zone at Worlds. I don’t even remember which team we were playing, but everyone rushed on to the field and I was smiling so hard I thought I might cry. There is nothing better than the feeling of pure delight for your team and your team mates.
A few random memories from our hotel: On the first day Chron forgot his pin code, blocked his card, was unable to pay for our accommodation, and sat on the phone with FNB for 4 hours while our whole team waited at reception. It was awesome having the Philippine, Irish, Mexican and Danish teams staying in our hotel which led to hallway parties and friendly conversations in the lifts. Amy and Skinny’s room became a popular hangout spot for the Irish Open team. Cherise going from room to room strapping team mates every night. Seeing the fan in Jivey, Pivey and Pete’s room being used to ‘cool down their food’ like a fridge. Having team meetings each night and trying to squash 25 people into a room meant for three.
During our last game at Worlds we were facing up against GB and I felt like the team’s Spirit wasn’t as high as in previous games. We were all exhausted and had resigned ourselves to the fact that we probably weren’t going to beat them. Then somehow, at halftime, Thulie and I ended up crouching on the ground attempting to break dance. I remember laughing and forgetting the game and how intense everyone was and just had fun. Because if you can’t awkwardly break-dance on the side of an ultimate field, when can you?
A hot English summer sun blazed down on us the morning of Finals and after Fines evening. Needless to say some Wild Dogs were feeling rather fragile. The stands were nowhere close to shady as I sat down to watch the USA-Japan Women’s final with a bottle of rehydrate firmly clasped in my hand. Hopefully many of you saw the Women’s final and I don’t need to repeat how incredible it was, or how flippen excited everyone was that the USA didn’t win. One of the best things about the Women’s final was that our team was sitting a few rows in front of the Mexican Open team. A specific Japanese handler had a knack for throwing these sneaky hammers and pulling them off with style. The Mexicans thought this was awesome and every time she caught the disc they shouted “HAMMER” in unison, both at high volume and in a thick Mexican accent!
There are a bunch of other things I’ll remember about Worlds – Liz’s hugs, Tina’s midnight snacks, Lucky’s cowboy boots, Scotty being called “delish”, Jazzy’s trading notebook, Chron’s classic “just play Frisbee” line… but mostly I think I’ll just remember spending a week with some of the best people, playing the sport we love, and smiling, a hell of a lot of smiling.
I think it is only right to end this off with the song that we would sing every day at Worlds:
“If I were a bachelor’s boy
And if I were to marry
I would marry a Wild Dog’s daughter
More than any other
I would score
She would score
We would score together
Wake up in the morning
Scoring one another
In the morning, in the morning
In the morning by the sea
BY THE SEA”
-Sally ‘First Lady’ Crompton