Charlie Blair gets to know the Chinese Taipei Mixed team
As the Under 23 division embarks on its third World Championship this week, it is incredibly exciting to see new teams from far reaching corners of the globe. Amongst the mixed teams are debuts for India, Philippines and South Africa. However, with Venezuela not representing in London, Chinese Taipei are the only team outside of the established Ultimate nations who also made the journey to Toronto two years ago.
Despite finishing 10th in the overall standings in 2013, Chinese Taipei impressed the watching eyes of the world as they burst onto the scene with a 13-10 upset victory against Australia in their opening game of the tournament. The ramifications of this strong performance against the eventual bronze medallists were really felt according to team coach Michael Hu. He attributes many more kids committing themselves to the sport to this win alone, with thousands inspired after tuning into the live stream from his home country.
Hu himself has been a bastion for the sport since first picking up a Frisbee as a college freshman in Taipei sixteen years ago. Initially however, he represented Chinese Taipei in Guts on the international stage while the interest for Ultimate lagged. Throughout the next decade he competed in three World Guts Championships, finally winning a gold medal in Heilbronn in 2000.