Our social media intern Jaime Perez was lucky enough to participate in the U23 World Championships this past month with Colombia Open. Here's what he had to say about the experience!
Q. What team did you play for?
A. Team Colombia
Q. Was this your first time playing for that team? What obstacles did you all have to overcome, if any to grow and get better during the tourney?
A. This was my first time playing with the team. The Colombians play a very fast paced, small ball play style, so that took some time to get used to for sure.
Q. Was this your first international tournament?
Q. What did you think of the environment and culture of the different teams at Worlds?
A. It was super interesting playing teams from different parts of the world and seeing all the different play styles. I was our team's translator, so I got to interact with a lot of the players which was cool.
Q. Did you learn anything new? About yourself? Or about another culture?
A. I was surprised to see how spirited all the teams were. It's easy for games to grind to a halt with bad calls ect. when a lot is on the line, but I was incredibly pleased with the integrity upheld by the teams, even when a lot was on the line.
Q. I hear it rains a lot in London. How were the fields and how did weather come into play?
A. The fields were hands down the best fields I've ever played on. Maybe the best ultimate has been played on period! We were at the Watford Premier League complex, so obviously a lot of money was spent on maintaining these fields. There were even field maintenance crews treating the fields after the rounds. My body was super thankful for that.
Q. What was your favorite moment at the tournament?
A. I got "bookends" on universe point to win against Denmark. They voted me MVP of the game. That was pretty cool.
Q. How did spirit come into play?
A. There were game advisors for each game, which helped expedite the process of arguing calls. We had spirit circles after each game to talk about the level of play ect, and could get together as a team to discuss the spirit score for the other team. Like I said before, the games were all incredibly spirited.
Q. Were there lots of spectators? What was each game's atmosphere like?
A. We had a few games with a good amount of spectators. The Great Britain game had a lot of hometown fans on the sidelines. My girlfriend is actually British and was at that game (I'm still unsure who she was rooting for). I don't usually get nervous before games, but there was a lot of energy in the air throughout the tournament. You could sense that there was a lot on the line for these teams.
Q. Would you go again?
A. It was the best experience of my life. I'll still be eligible for the next U23 Worlds, so if I'm lucky I'll for sure be going again!