Envisioning the future of this ultimate moment
From MUS to DnT (Drag’N Thrust)
Here the session began at a library in a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul with Henry Thorn, USAU Board Vice Chair and facilitator saying this was to date the largest meeting attendance to date. That made sense. I got re-involved in the sport as a photographer who my son played for Minneapolis MUS. Youth Club Championships were regularly hosted in Minneapolis for years that followed. That and then in years to come, witnessing and frankly being embraced by mixed division Minneapolis Drag’N Thrust at their world and US championships have been convincing impressions that ultimate is alive and well in flyover Minneapolis.
Olympic Sized Dreams
Given the choice to attend just one of the half dozen breakout sessions that included local (Minnesota) functions, youth structure, elite/semi-pro, diversity and equity, branding and Olympic adoption, I chose the later. How well does the Olympic creed and Ultimate’s Spirit of the Game sync up?
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.”
What conflicts exist? How much are some priorities of Ultimate, such as the one USAU Executive Director Dr. Tom Crawford expressed regarding mixed gender, an asset or a liability in migrating the sport to the Olympic stage? How does the sport maintain a statement projected behind the facilitator, “Keep Ultimate Weird” but professional?
Expressions of Equity
As aptly raised by a member of the Olympic breakout group, and then called out by the Diversity breakout group itself, participation in many of the breakout sessions broke out on gender lines. The Diversity conversation was largely comprised of women. Men were in majority of most every other group, except by my uncalculating memory, the Youth group that looked fairly balanced and discussed development of the sport.
All of this while in the Olympic group, Tom Crawford stated he envisioned the most likely become accepted into the Olympics is the Mixed Division of this sport. My notes simply state my response.