The International World Games Association (IWGA) has now launched its online votes for the Athlete and Team of the Year 2022. This year, the World Flying Disc Federation nominated two candidates: Germany’s Mixed National Team for Team of the Year and Colombia’s Valeria Cardenas for Athlete of the Year. The first round of voting begins on January 10 at www.theworldgames.org/pages/athlete-and-team-of-the-year-2022 and continues until January 22.
“We are particularly excited about this competition as The World Games competition is honoring both the top team and the top athlete,” stated WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch. “Both of our sport’s entries exemplify The World Games spirit, and we hope that our community will embrace the process and vote daily to demonstrate how much we love our sport.”
In total, 23 athletes and 12 teams are running for the titles 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.
WFDF’s nomination for The World Games Team of the Year is Team Germany. In their third World Games appearance, the German National Team put up an impressive showing, defeating the dominant Team USA in pool play after coming into the competition as the seventh seed. Their explosive power, on-field smarts and unwavering focus elevated the German side and saw them go undefeated through the first three days of The World Games 2022. “If their dismantling of Canada was a polite message that Germany have arrived at the elite level of world play, their performance against the United States was a thunderous announcement from the rooftops,” wrote Ultiworld in their recap of the Germany-US game. The semifinal game between Germany and Australia, where the Aussies just edged out the win with a final score of 13-12, was one of the great Ultimate thrillers of the year. While Germany finished just off the podium in fourth place at the competition in Birmingham, they proved they’re a team to watch for years to come.
WFDF’s nomination for Athlete of the Year is Valeria Cardenas. Cardenas might just be one of the best throwers in the world — and she’s only 23. Cardenas’ spectacular season started with a third place finish at The World Games in Birmingham and ended when she helped catapult Denver’s Molly Brown to the U.S. national championship for the first time in the club’s history. She also won gold with Revolution at the World Ultimate Club Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio and was named Ultiworld’s 2022 Women’s Club Player of the Year.
Each voting participant can cast votes for the candidates – both Athlete and Team of the Year– once per 24 hours on The World Games website. Each time, votes must be given to candidates from two different sports. Two votes are awarded to the first-choice candidate and one vote to the second-choice candidate.
The finalists in both categories will be determined when voting ends on January 22. The 10 athletes and 7 teams with the most votes will go through to the final round. This round lasts until January 31, when the winners will be announced.