Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 1, 2022)—USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States and member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, revealed today the 14 athletes that were chosen to represent Team USA at the World Games this summer.
Following a series of tryouts that began with 74 of the nation’s top ultimate players, head coach Matty Tsang and assistants Miranda Knowles, Patrick Sherlock and Nancy Sun together assembled a formidable squad that will look to defend its 2017 gold medal and claim its fifth consecutive World Games title.
Evenly split between men and women, the mixed gender roster features six World Games veterans and eight newcomers.
Returning from the 2017 team are Carolyn Finney (San Francisco Fury), Dylan Freechild (Seattle Sockeye), Chris Kocher (New York PoNY), Grant Lindsley (New York PoNY) and Jimmy Mickle (New York PoNY).
Octavia Payne (San Francisco Fury), also returns to the World Games lineup after winning gold at the 2013 games and serving as an alternate five years ago.
Joining them are 2017 alternate Claire Chastain (Denver Molly Brown) and other first-time participants Khalif El-Salaam (Seattle Mixtape), Nate Goff (Chicago Machine), Kaela Helton (San Francisco Fury), Sarah Meckstroth (Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust), Carolyn Normile (Pittsburgh Parcha), Claire Trop (Boston Brute Squad) and Jack Williams (Raleigh Ring of Fire).
In addition to the 14 players that have been selected to travel to Birmingham, Ala. this July, coaches also named six alternates that will practice with the team throughout the spring. Alternates include 2017 World Games gold medalist Anna Nazarov (San Francisco Fury), 2017 alternate Kami Groom (Boston Brute Squad), Raphy Hayes (Salem Rhino Slam), Jack Hatchett (New York PoNY), Jesse Shofner (Nashville ‘Shine) and Eric Taylor (Raleigh Ring of Fire).
“The coaching staff would like to thank the entire National Team delegation for their preparation and performance, despite COVID delays, cold weather, high winds, rain and heat,” commented Tsang. “The work we did together over the two weekends in Texas put the selected athletes in a great position to represent the U.S. in Birmingham. We are committed to creating a team that showcases the best of our sport – both on and off the field – and hope many U.S. fans make the trip to Alabama to cheer us on.”
Typically occurring every four years (the 2021 edition was postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic), the World Games is an Olympic-style sports experience where elite athletes from across the globe compete in 34 unique, multi-disciplinary sports. Featuring 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries, the World Games is considered the pinnacle for non-Olympic, amateur sports like ultimate.
The 2022 edition marks the 40th anniversary of the Games and the first on U.S. soil since ultimate was added to the program in 2001.
In Birmingham, ultimate will be contested over a five-day span – July 12-16 – at John Carroll Catholic High School.
Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Great Britain and Japan join the United States in the eight-country field.