Louis Douville Beaudoin’s red, white and blue jersey will say “USA”. He will be honored and proud to represent his country at the 2022 World Flying Disc Federation World Junior Ultimate Championships next month in Wroclaw, Poland. It will display the destination, a long-time aspiration fulfilled.
Its crampons, meanwhile, will do justice to the course. He hand-painted the logos of four entities that made him the player and the fit person to play Ultimate on the world stage: National Ultimate Training Camp, Amherst Summer Ultimate Frisbee , the Amherst regional emblem, and the Stanley Street sign for the park where the Hurricanes practice. Every team, coach and organization has contributed to its development.
“Any national team is special because you represent your country, but I come from a wonderful community – the ultimate Amherst community, which I think is different from most,” Douville Beaudoin said. “It’s an opportunity to represent Amherst, who in all the Frisbee I’ve played here since fifth grade, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to represent that.”
But before he could do that, Douville Beaudoin had to ask this community for help to get to Poland. He started a GoFundMe aimed at raising $4,650 to help cover travel costs to the tournament and visits to Denver and Chicago for training camp. The campaign was down to $2,244 Friday night.
“I knew I was going to need financial help. It is heartwarming to see everyone who has donated and supported me in this area. All of these people who have been in my life and have been in my Frisbee life for so long to support me through the process are special and grateful for all of this and for all of them,” said Douville Beaudoin. “They make the dream possible for me.”
The dream has been on Douville Beaudoin’s radar since he first picked up a frisbee seven years ago. He watched the Hurricanes compete in the Amherst Invitational on the grounds behind his house and befriended Team USA qualifiers as he progressed through the program. Amherst has sent 10 players to Team USA since 2014 (Orion Cable has made the team twice), at least one per two-year cycle. The 2020 tournament in Malmö, Sweden was canceled by the pandemic.
The 2022 edition will take place from August 6 to 13. There, Douville Beaudoin will try to help the United States retain the crown while visiting relatives. He is a Polish quarterback and has extended family in Wroclaw whom he will meet for the first time.
“It’s a really unique opportunity for me to set up,” said Douville Beaudoin. “It’s cool that it’s not just a frisbee tournament for me, but it’s a chance to be in a country where I have my roots and meet these people that I bond with.”
The United States has won seven of the last eight boys’ gold medals since 2004, losing just one game in that span. They have won eight championships in 14 tournaments.
Douville Beaudoin applied for the tryout in October and received an invite in December to the mid-March event in North Carolina. He drove with his Amherst teammates Geir Hartl and Taylor Hanson, Hurricanes players Nomi Zeidenberg and Becky Marshall, and Four Rivers athlete Ashley Schlinger. They competed among 200 of the best in the country for 48 places.
“We had a very nice trip. We all went down together and trained together,” said Douville Beaudoin. “It brought me closer to my teammates and it was a really cool opportunity to go through this process with them. It took the stress off of it.
The look on his mother Léa Douville’s face told him that he had brought the team home from a game in mid-April. His parents received the email while he was away.
“It was great to have this time with my family, who have been the biggest supporters of all my Frisbee endeavors,” said Douville Beaudoin. “I walked in and I could tell something was going on.”
His dad, Rick Beaudoin, practiced throwing and catching with him on the high school courts next to their house from the time he started playing during the pandemic quarantines when doing anything at home. exterior looked like a trip to Europe.
“The loop is very full to have thrown with him for all these years and being able to celebrate making this team with him and my mom was special to me,” said Douville Beaudoin. “To me Frisbee is so special and the community around it is so special, especially here in Amherst. It’s easy for some parents to dislike this side of a sport, not the game itself, but the community and the spirit that surrounds it. They certainly understand that, and I think that’s why they understand how important it is not just to be part of the team, but for me to be part of the Amherst Frisbee community.
It doesn’t just take community either. Douville Beaudoin volunteers as a coach for both the SULA where he started and for Recreation Services and the Town of Amherst’s Supplemental Education Day Camp. Training the next generation of ultimate Amherst players reminds Douville Beaudoin of his early experiences with the game and his welcome into the community. Now it’s her turn to open her arms.
“It’s really nice to remember those days of looking up to the players in high school and learning my first pitches and being the one helping those kids learn the pitches and seeing those moments of realization where, finally, their forehand works or they’re finally able to throw far, and remember that was me and find the joy of frisbee at a young age. says Douville Beaudoin. “It’s cool to suddenly be on the flip side .”
Kyle Grabowski can be contacted at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.