Flying Disc has swept both categories in The World Games end-of-year contests, earning the titles of BOTH Athlete of the Year and Team of the Year after a month of fan voting.
“On behalf of the global Flying Disc community, I’d like to wholeheartedly congratulate Valeria Cardenas of Colombia and Team Germany on this magnificent achievement of coming out on top in both categories,” said WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch. “This is incredible recognition for Valeria as a standout athlete all last year and Team Germany for their collective performance at TWG in Birmingham.”
“We give our sincerest thanks to all fans who voted for them over the last month and I believe that our performance in this friendly competition reflects the priority that our Flying Disc community puts on our participation in this fabulous multi-sports event.”
The Athlete of the Year competition came down to the last few hours. In the last days of the contest, Cardenas withstood a last-minute challenge from Slovakia’s Monika Chochlikova, a Muaythai fighter. The contest was neck and neck until the very end, but Cardenas was able to come from behind with less than 30 minutes remaining and finish with 35,769 votes, a mere 346 more votes than Chochlikova.
In total, 23 athletes and 12 teams had been in the running for the titles of Athlete of the Year or Team of the Year. They all took part in the 11th edition of The World Games in Birmingham, USA in July 2022.
“This nomination for Athlete of the Year is a dream for me and for all the Flying Disc community in Colombia and the world,” said Valeria Cárdenas. “All of what I had achieved is also because of the support of the people who had been with me since the beginning and now they are making part of this dream as well. This nomination is just the beginning of many things I want to achieve in my sports career.”
In the team sport category, Team Germany led from the start and beat out six other competitors in the finals round, earning 13,262 votes, over two and a half times more than second place Fistball.
“For Flying Disc athletes, participating in the World Games is the pinnacle of their sports career, so the German team was excited to be nominated for the Team of the Year Award accordingly,” said Stefan Rekitt, member of the coaching staff of Team Flying Disc Germany. “Team Flying Disc Germany is proud that we could deliver a convincing performance at the World Games and now also won the TOTY award. We are honored that the fans and supporters kept voting for us and thereby acknowledged our appearance in Birmingham.”
Flying Disc has been a medal sport of The World Games since 2001 in Akita, and its first appearance was as a demonstration sport in 1989 in Cologne. This is the second time that Flying Disc has been recognized as Team of the Year: Team USA won in the inaugural contest in 2013.