Friday, August 28, 2009

Beijing Ultimate Frisbee Champions

Attentive readers will note that this is the first post I'm making in August. Many of you know the reason for this: Veronica and I were back in the states for a little over 10 days. Those ten days were the busiest, most fun and friendfilled and generally fulfilling vacation days I can remember. Shout outs to the people that we say and BIG SORRIES to the people we weren't able to get in touch with. That said, our open offer still stands: Get yourself to Beijing, and you have a place to stay and some slightly above-average laowei tour guides.

Since this blog is about living in Beijing, posting about our trip back to the states would be rather pointless. And so, the blog picks back up, as we pick back up our lives in Beijing. . .

And where a better place to start than on the Frisbee fields. Beijing (and China in general) has a small but growing Ultimate Community. Right now, Beijing is home to at least four ongoing teams, comprised of locals and expats alike. There are a growing number of native Chinese being turned on to the sport, due, in no small part, to the tireless efforts of Five Ultimate to open up new markets.

During the springtime, we occasionally made it out to pickup games, but our travel, class and work schedules made it difficult to commit to Beijing's inaugural spring league. Luckily, we were able to join up in time for the 4th annual summer league. The league is small (compared to large Ultimate cities back in the states) with only four teams that play a total of eight games plus finals. What the league lacks in size it more than makes up in spirit.

Beijing Ultimate is lucky to have a committed group of expats that love the sport and love the city. The seed of their enthusiasm has sprouted into a lot of locals joining up and bringing their new take (and often incredible speed) to the game. Most of the people we've met so far are quintessential ultimate folk that, having played in or after college back in the states or Canada, couldn't go without it in China. They travel to tournaments throughout the continent and do the same rawkus things we do in America.

Beijing Ultimate Frisbee Summer League
We ended up on a great team, that managed to lose all but one game going into Final's weekend. We entered the playoffs as the #3 seed and won both of our games as the underdog to take the BUSL championships. I'm not going to bore anyone with a recap, but if you want the gory details and videos, check them out at Anthony Tao's blog.