The Coolest World Champions You’ve Never Heard Of
Written by Bwog Staff
With such a large and diverse student body [read: so much time spent dwelling in Butler like a vampire bat], it’s easy to miss out on some of the outstanding people on campus. Significant examples are Daniel O’Neill (CC ’13), James Wiseman (CC ‘ 13), and Emma Kahle (CC ’14), the recently named world champions of freestyle Frisbee. Disc Dominatrix Artur Renault reports:
While you may be imagining freestyle Frisbee as a slightly more involved version of the game all of those unnecessarily shirtless dudes play in front of Butler, it’s significantly more complex than that. While they do hang out in quads and use the plastic disc we all know and love, these guys go further. They superglue fake nails to their nails and perform tricks with the disc that can only be described as what it would be like if there were a Frisbee nation in Avatar. Their art, as they put it, “is to ultimate what ice skating is to hockey.” (Don’t believe it? See for yourself.)
In tournaments, their performances are judged on execution, difficulty, and artistic perfection. To achieve this they employ a variety of tricks, such as the “Flamingo” and the “Oliver,” their variants the “Flamingosis” and the “Olivia,” and best of all, the “You Douche.” These tricks are often combined to create new ones, and their complexity is incomprehensible to the untrained eye: often a trick will seem incredible but be very mundane, or it will be difficult to discern yet spectacular.
Freestyle Frisbee had a golden age in the late 70s and early 80s when the sport was common among hippies but, due to many factors, it later fell out of favor in the US. In the early 2000s, however, a Nike commercial sparked a new interest in the sport. James and Daniel, who started with freestyle in separate high schools, discovered their shared interest during NSOP and quickly joined the New York freestyle community. Emma, who had been introduced to freestyle briefly in high school, was surprised to find the other two playing here, and the three have been playing together almost daily ever since. They travel the world showing off their skills and recently won the 2012 Freestyle Frisbee World Championships in Riccione, Italy.
The success of these three students demonstrates one of the most important aspects of freestyle: the social factor. Almost more significant than the competition itself is the tightly knit community surrounding it. This community is small, however, and the newly crowned champions are always looking for new recruits. The learning curve for the basic moves is very large, but all players are very supportive, and once you get the basic moves it’s all downhill from there. If you’re interested in pursuing this amazing sport, or simply basking in the glory of people with superior coordination, contact Daniel or James at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com respectively for more information.