Russian Kate (??):
Every sport has athletes who are not just very fast and strong, but also have something that always draws your attention and makes you come back to see their performance again and again. Kurt Gibson is a person of this kind. He does have something else except his excellent sport talent. His way of playing is very elegant and he himself is very charismatic.
But I don’t care about this at all! :) I absolutely do not remember him from Nationals 2011 (ha! but I do remember his brother Chris very well, I’ll tell you about him later), but I remember hearing phrases like: “There were just two players who made the game for Doublewide - Brodie Smith and Kurt Gibson”. I tried to remember who else was playing during their games except Brodie, but failed.
One year later I came to the Nationals (2012) with a definite knowledge of who Kurt Gibson was, and I kept my eyes on him trying to understand if he could fit our future camp. Obviously it didn’t take much time for me to realize that I need to invite him. But that was not as easy as it sounds. His positive attitude, smile and charisma attracted so many people that he was quite inaccessible.
But if you want something really bad you’ll get it.
After one of the games I was chatting with Robbie Cahill and Mark Sherwood about Moscow when I saw Kurt hanging around. I guess that Mark perfectly understood my eyes. He grinned and called his friend:
- Hey, Kurt, we have something for you.
- Yeah? What’s up?
- What!? No way! What do you mean?
Mark and Robbie told him all the wonderful things about trip to Moscow like if they had already made it. Well, they exaggerated the story a bit but they achieved the goal: Kurt’s eyes lit up:
- Do you really want me to come?? - he asked me.
Actually I hadn’t said a word yet :) though I answered:
- Sure, why not? Would you like to come to Russia?
- Wow! Yes! That’s awesome! I’d like to come.
I was incredibly happy. Thank you, Mark!
Finally, after three tough months of emails, one early morning brought me a short email: “I have good news… I can attend the camp in Russia! Kurt”. I couldn’t believe that he would come! At first I got really upset as read it as “I can’t attend” and then read the e-mail once again and started jumping around the room!
And now all of you will get a chance to meet Kurt and follow his great example of positive attitude to life and people, his amazing sense of commitment and efficiency.
Kurt Gibson epitomizes perseverance, heart, and desire. There is no question that Kurt is on the short list of best players in the world, and there is no one player that can will his team to a victory more than Kurt. Kurt is a natural athlete and born leader and his inner drive to win have culminated in leading both his university and club teams to national championships. His ability to get open in the field coupled with his uncanny throwing ability makes his virtually unguardable. There is not much more to say about Kurt on the field…..
Off the field, Kurt is a salsa dancing, pop music loving, booty dancing freak. As life has thrown him curveballs, he has embraced the mantra “live life to the fullest.” Always down to go dancing are do karaoke at the drop of a hat, Kurt embraces life and jumps in head first!
Max Cook, Doublewide #4
- Date of birth: 8/28/85
- Place of birth: New York, NY
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 170
- University: University of Florida
- I love to salsa dance and I will be looking for places to go while I’m in Russia!
- I’m an Education Development Manager at PepsiCo
I started throwing around the Frisbee when I was a freshman in high school. On light days we would run to the park and throw around the Frisbee and then run back to campus. This continued throughout High School until the summer between my Junior and Senior year. We were throwing after a workout at the University of South Florida and a couple of guys came up to us and asked if we wanted to play in the Tampa Bay Area summer league. We agreed that sounded cool and that we would come out and play. I ended up being the only that followed through with it.
The first time I played in a Summer League game I didn’t really know what I was doing but I had a knack for always coming down with the Frisbee. My initial ability after the first game earned me an invite to the Tampa Bay area Open team practice. After that day my life changed forever. I fell in love with the sport. I stopped running Cross Country/Track to play Ultimate full time.
I started out as a cutter when I first started playing but have evolved into more of a handler as my throws improved. Now I kind of roam around near the disc and go deep when I see an opening.
I think I have a very solid all around game. I pride myself in excelling at all aspects of the game whether it’s throwing flicks, backhands, hammers, soft throws, hard throws, throwing in windy conditions, cutting, playing defense, marking, etc.
My favorite throw is a breakmark backhand
I joined Doublewide in 2009 a year after I moved to Texas.
Also I played on Boston Ultimate from 2007-2008, Vicious Cycle (Gainesville, FL) from 2004-2006, and Tampa Bulge in 2003, I played at the University of Florida from 2004-2008.
My only experience playing National teams was this past summer when I was lucky enough to represent my country at the World championships. I played with Revolver on Team USA where we competed against many different countries. It is definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
I wore the number 20 throughout my Ultimate career. I originally picked #20 because at the time I was a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan (NFL team) and Brian Dawkins was my favorite player. He played Free Safety and was a ballhawk. He was all over the field making play and was probably the best overall athlete on the field. I wanted to be just like him so I became 20.
This past year, however, I changed my number to 7. I changed to #7 because in the Bible this number represents perfection. I thought this would help me become more perfect on the field. Considering we won the 2012 Club Championships this year I think it worked.
I’m not one for individual awards. I placed 3rd in the Callahan voting 2 years in a row and have received a couple of awards for good performances in big games but I couldn’t even tell you which ones. What I do remember are the victories of my team in big games (and losses too). Those are the memorable moments and those are the ones you will cherish forever.
I don’t really have a most memorable tournament. When I look back on my playing career I think of a lot of incredible times that I’ve had and they all come from different tournaments. I have wonderful memories of my college days at Centex (best college tournament in Austin, TX), the Stanford Invite (Palo Alto, CA), and Trouble in Vegas (Las Vegas, NV) and Club Nationals never fails to disappoint.
I work in PepsiCo and most of my colleagues know and they think it’s pretty cool that I get to travel to all of these cool places. I recently played at the World Championships in Japan and everyone was pretty excited to watch me play there.
I think all sports help develop people in positive ways. Whether you are a teammate sharing their time, energy, and sweat at practices and competitions or a leader captaining and being a role model for your teammates they both take a great deal of cooperation and communication which apply to everyday life more than most people think.
I love teaching people the sport of Ultimate and I am excited for the opportunity to teach in a foreign country. Russia is a place I’ve always wanted to go and as a student of history I know Russia has its fair share of places to visit and learn about. Of course, add in that with teaching Ultimate and you couldn’t get a better combination for a great trip!
I have been a captain on Doublewide for 2 years and I captained my college team for 2 years as well and have taught a number of clinics focused on Ultimate fundamentals.
Even as a teacher sometimes you end up learning more about yourself or the people you’re teaching than they learn from you. And as a teacher, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing improvement in your students.
I want to go to St. Petersburg. I’ve heard that city is amazing and there is a ton of history and I want to eat it all up.
What do I already know about Russia? Well, of course, other than the fact that half the Victoria’s secret models come from Russia it’s one of the few countries that is in both Europe and Asia, it’s home to the Kremlin, and home to the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in which one of my favorite movies of all time takes place (Enemy at the Gates).
Something not many people know about me is that I am a cancer survivor of over 4 years. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer on Aug. 4, 2008. They found a large tumor in my descending colon and instead of just removing it they decided that because of my family history there was a high probability of it returning in the near future so they went ahead and removed my entire colon. I underwent surgery on Sep. 10, 2008 and later went through 12 rounds of chemotherapy over a 6 month period. It was a difficult time in my life but I certainly came out a better person for it. I strengthened my faith in God and I appreciated everything around me so much more. It was a difficult experience for me but also a blessing and I am thankful that I have endured the trial so well.