Player Profile: Amy Luo

DSC00370Passion drives a team to perform at the next level. Seeing a teammate bid for every disc, playing outstanding man defence, or make an unbelievable, physics defying play causes a team to access reserves and talent otherwise unattainable. Having teammates like this are an essential catalyst for any high performing team. Amy Luo continues to invigorate the T-Birds originally as a defensive specialist, and now an offensive contributor. Amy has battled back from a multitude of injuries and other setbacks and continues to inspire her teammates to access their competitive edge. With her roles on Canada’s U23 mixed team, Amy brings fire and experience into what is the most substantial, and ultimate test of the season.

The basics:

Age: 21
Height: 159 cm
Field of study: Geography (NOT kinesiology or business, contrary to popular belief)
Position: O/D Hybrid cutter

Amy makes a grab at the Northwest Challenge Cup 2014. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

Amy makes a grab at the Northwest Challenge Cup 2014. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

How did you start playing frisbee?

I started for reals in grade 11 – In summer 2008 my friend and teammate Victoria Lam invited me to volunteer at worlds and I thought it was the coolest thing ever and since then I was determined to play ultimate and get good enough so I could play at the same tournament I was once volunteering for. 

Who is your most influential player?

I have two – two of the fastest, best, most dedicated cutters in the world (literally – both represented Canada at the world games).

Catherine Hui – she always pushes herself to go 110% and picks up the slack for everyone else. Her energy and determination to the sport and her team is infectious and it always pushes me to play my hardest. It’s been an honour to play alongside her.

Jenn Kwok – Kwok has battled against endless injuries to still be one of the best cutters in the game. Her dedication to rehab, injury prevention, and just the sport in general are incredibly inspirational. I have always kept her playing philosophy in the back of my mind – “New beginning. Go in knowing you don’t want to regret anything. Drops, throwaways who gives a crap. The only time i have ever had regrets was when i hid and played scared, so go balls out, and it will change your game i swear.” She has always believed in me from day 1 and motivates me to work hard and play hard no matter what.

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Amy marks to stop a huck against Tufts at the Northwest Challenge Cup 2014. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

What is your favourite ultimate moment?

Scoring 8 goals against UVic at Regionals this year and proceeding to beat them on universe. I had never really played against UVic before (I always seem to get injured in the first few points and am out for the rest of the game against them) and offense has always been the biggest demon I struggle with in ultimate. So to be on the best offensive game of my life my first time playing against them was a huge personal achievement.

Favourite play?

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Amy makes a layout grab at the Northwest Challenge Cup 2014. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

Slash break side and strike deep – the 7 cut, that or peeling in the endzone for the score. 

What’s the worst injury you’ve sustained from ultimate?

Dislocating my right shoulder 4 times over 4 years in 4 different cities.

Any hobbies?

Photography, snowboarding, bunnies, anything UBC REC related 

What teams do you play on outside of TBirds?

TC U23 Mixed, Battlecats, and now Zephyr

On top of playing frisbee Amy loves coaching. She started coaching juniors last summer and got so invested and considers it one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Amy and the rest of the UBC TBirds Ultimate Team.

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Player Profile: Mira Donaldson

DSC00323Our next profile features multi-talented O-line specialist Mira Donaldson. At only 20 years old, Mira has already competed at the highest level of play, representing Canada at the World Games. Do not underestimate her for her age – her arsenal of throws and vision of the field is that of a seasoned veteran. Hucks, hammers, scoobers, blades, forehand, backhand, Mira does it all. Unlike her indecisiveness in real life, her play calls and decisions on the field are always made with 110%, inevitably resulting in completed full-field hucks and shredded zones. Though Mira isn’t one to join in on the cheers and celebrations, her on-field plays make more than enough noise to compensate. You’d be hard-pressed to find a defender in all of women’s college ultimate that can stop the likes of Mira Donaldson.

Mira gets over a crowd of defenders at the USA Ultimate Club Championships in 2013.

Mira gets over a crowd of defenders at the USA Ultimate Club Championships in 2013. Photo courtesy of Jeff Bell of UltiPhotos.

The basics:

Age: 20
Height: 175 cm
Field of study: Integrated Science
Position: O-line cutter

How did you start playing frisbee?

I was a heavy basketball player, and at my school the majory of the team would play ultimate in the spring as cross training. My older brother also played for our high school team, anything he did was considered “cool” in my eyes, so I was sold. After my first year, it was all I wanted to do.

Who is your most influential player?

The two that stick out the most are Candice Chan and Jon Hayduk. Jon has mentored me since day one back in grade 8, and has convinced me to play for more and more teams which I refuse to do at first, but end up loving. Every throw I know, I have learned from him, and I would not be where I am without his leadership. Candice is one of the most hardworking, intense, yet happiest players our there, and I wish I could be her! Having her as a teammate and friend for the last few years has bean great.

Mira winds up for a big backhand huck at Potlatch 2013 with Team Canada World Games. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

Mira winds up for a big backhand huck at Potlatch 2013 with Team Canada World Games. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran

You probably have lots to choose from, but what is your favourite ultimate moment?

Hard to pinpoint one exactly, but winning Spring Reign in high school is still one of my most fond moments of a hard fought game and coming out on top. I must say, walking around a stadium full of 50,000 people at the World Games opening ceremonies was also an experience I will never forget.

Favourite Throw?

I like hucking…a lot

Any other sports you play?

I played lots of basketball throughout high school and was considering pursuing it in university, but gave it all up for frisbee, and I still don’t regret that decision.

Mira is marked up by Riot player and Western Washington's star Callie Mah at Northwest Challenege Cup 2013. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

Mira is marked up by Riot player and Western Washington’s star Callie Mah at Northwest Challenege Cup 2013. Photo courtesy of Tino Tran.

What teams do you play on outside of TBirds?

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Nicknames?

The ones that seemed to be used the most are MOORA and “The Kid”

Besides dominating on the court and field, Mira is aspiring to become a doctor and currently studying for her MCAT this summer. She also gives back to the ultimate community by coach her alma mater junior team, the BC All Stars Provincial Team. Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Mira and the rest of the UBC TBirds Ultimate Team.

Player Profile: Peter Yu

1074083_10151653351775208_2073922166_oTenacity, intelligent play, and a strong mental game are qualities by all frisbee players, especially those on the defensive side of the disc. In his time on the T-Birds, Peter has undergone a renaissance. Originally starting out as an offensive downfield threat, he honed his defensive craft, becoming an all-star defender, and a disc-dominant distributor. The metamorphosis resulted in a rare type of player that has a enviable symbiosis of defensive instincts and offensive aptitude. Add to the fact “Petey” plays every point like it’s his last on the field, his multi-faceted game leaves many teams wondering “What just happened?”

 

The basics

Name: Peter YuScreen Shot 2014-05-02 at 4.11.02 PM
Height: 170cm
Age: 2
Field of study: Mostly English
Position: Squirrel

How/when did you start playing ultimate?

Started in grade 11 when my PE teacher kept pestering me to tryout; said yes for the
hunnies. (Hunnies are girls in case you were confused.)

Who is your most influential player & why?

Aaron Liu & Oscar Pottinger; I’ve tried to emulate Aaron’s defensive game and Oscar’s offensive game. Work in progress. 

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 4.10.17 PMWhat is your favourite ultimate moment? 

Playing at Pumpkin Pull in 2013 with a pick-up team called Where’s Waldo. I think our average height was 5’4. Our girls were super sick though, and carried us through the tournament where we lost in the finals on Universe point to a mash-up of old Furious/Traffic players. I got to meet Mike Grant; his flick pull is ridiculous.  


Favourite throw/ultimate play?

Throwing a floaty OI flick to a big Fred Lam sky for the goal, while I am falling down. 

Any hobbies outside of ultimate?

Watching the NBA, surfing YouTube, Pokemon, making fun of Guo, being terrible at playing pool, reading.

Have you played on any club/pro teams outside of TBirds?1116139_10100556532736541_80562493_o

Furious George / Vancouver Nighthawks, Blackfish, Team Canada

Any interesting facts about you?

If I were any taller, I’d probably have pursued my dream of becoming an NBA player instead of playing frisbee. I think of that every time someone inevitably tells me I’d be a super sick frisbee player if I were a little bit taller;dawg I’d be rockin’ the NBA by now!

Check out our fundraising page for info on how to support Peter and the team, and even get some Thunderbird gear.