Our last, but certainly not least, models announcement is chock-full of amazing people with incredible stories. If you haven't read our first announcement, click here; for our second announcement, click here.
Charlie's story may be one of the most unique we've ever read. Charlie (a.k.a. Yung Deafy) is deaf. His team has learned to face him when they talk so that he can read their lips. Charlie wrote that ultimate frisbee has given him the opportunity to become a strong leader on his team and show everyone that deaf people can do anything. Charlie's unwillingness to let his impairment define him is amazing.
Not only is Charlie a motivation to us, he's also a great ultimate player! When he first started, he could only throw lefty backhands and righty flicks, but now he's a member of the varsity A team at his high school and he competed at Colorado Youth Club Championships last season.
When asked why he wanted to be a model, Charlie—wise beyond his years—said this: "I hope to be inspirational to other people who may feel lesser, inadequate, have disabilities or other challenges in life." We can't wait to see how many lives you touch, Charlie. Welcome to the team.
Scott Xu is another classic example of how many of us started playing ultimate. Initially a track and field athlete, Scott fell in love with our sport 12 years ago and never looked back.
Since his first game of ultimate, he's gone on to win a YCC championship, play on multiple club and pro teams, and founded Garden State Ultimate, a club team in the Open division.
In the end, we chose Scott to be one of our models because of how active he is in his community. From founding his own club team, to coaching and mentoring both men and women, and holding a number of leadership roles across various teams, Scott loves to give back and positively influence the future generation of ultimate.
Our community needs more people like Scott. Selfless people are willing to give up their time to improve our sport. Keep fighting the good fight, Scott. Welcome to the team.
"I accidentally found Ultimate." Jay's first sentence in his submission rings true for 98% of the ultimate community (don't quote us on that number). But there is something about Jay that made us really like him—he was able to portray his infectious personality in his application.
Jay breathes ultimate: he plays, he coaches, he started his own team, and he's getting married next year to someone he met in the community (congrats!!). Jay doesn't just go through the motions of ultimate though. He is actively involved in his community and sees ultimate as a chance to grow as a human; to be a more thoughtful listener and to learn from people of all genders, races, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Two things in particular stood out in Jay's submission. First, we love that Jay has taken up the role of SOTG advocate in his region. Second, Jay had one line that made us pause and think about our teams and community. Jay wrote "my team is stronger because of our diversity." We don't know what it was about that specific line, but it struck a chord and we had to have Jay on board.
Keep advocating for Spirit of the Game, Jay. We are very excited to have you on board and help you reach more people in your community. We can also chat about making you a suit for your wedding ;) Welcome to the team, Jay.
Nyna's submission caught our attention for two reasons. One of the reasons was because she seemed to have an impressive ultimate background. She started an ultimate team at her high school which she then went on to coach, she was chosen as an alternate for the U20 Team Canada Women's team in 2014, and in 2016 made the Team Canada roster that went on to win gold. Now, Nyna is a member of Iris. Impressive for one of our youngest models!
But her ultimate resume wasn't why we chose her. Plenty of top-level athletes applied. What made Nyna stand out of the crowd was the confidence and pride that she has in herself. As a shorter player, Nyna found that people would often laugh about her height, but Nyna never let it get to her; in fact, she did the opposite. Nyna wrote this to us: "the day I started to use my difference as a force, I started to shine and prove to all the kids I coach that they can be any size on the field and still be a big threat to the other teams." Body positivity is huge and we love that Nyna is teaching that to the teams she coaches. Welcome to the team, Nyna.
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