When Piper Curtis started playing Ultimate Frisbee as a high school student at Phillips Academy, she had no idea that the sport would take her to two World Championships.
Curtis played as a member of the USA Ultimate Women's U24 National Team at the 2018 World Championships in Perth, Australia. The championships were held between Jan. 6 and Jan. 13. The USA women's team finished as undefeated world champions.
"It was amazing," Curtis said. "The team was pretty awesome. I was pretty excited to play with them. It was by far the best team I have ever been on. They were just so good and even in practice playing against them, that was the bet Frisbee I have ever played. It was also awesome to get to know people form around the country that I'll probably see again playing later in life."
Curtis was a member of the U19 USA Ultimate Women's team in 2014 as well, who were also undefeated World Champions at the championship in Lecco, Italy.
It all started when a friend of hers suggested she try out for the Ultimate Frisbee at Phillips Andover Academy. Curtis was on the track team at the time and wasn't enjoying it very much, so she gave Ultimate a chance.
"I liked it so I kept doing it," Curtis said. "It is kind of a fast-paced game like soccer, so I enjoyed that. There was definitely a challenge to it, with starting a new sport and learning to throw. It is not just throwing Frisbee in a park; it is an actual sport. There is tons of action, and it is a fast-paced game with lots of transitions."
There are two main positions on an ultimate team, handlers and cutters. Handlers are the team members who throw the Frisbee, and cutters are the players who run to stay open and catch the disk. Curtis plays as a cutter.
Despite her experience with the sport in high school, Curtis didn't initially plan to keep playing at Dartmouth College, and started out playing soccer. A friend persuaded her to try out for the Frisbee team.
"It started to get really fun," Curtis said. "When I got to college I really liked the community around the team. It really kept me in."
Curtis says people still ask her what Ultimate is. She says part of the fun is spreading word about the sport. The International Olympic Committee recognized the World Flying Disk Federation as a legitimate sport organization in the summer of 2015, which means that Ultimate could one day be an Olympic sport.
Curtis plans to graduate from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College this spring as a bio-mechanical engineer. She isn't sure where her degree will take her next, and due to a reoccurring ankle sprain injury, may take some time off from playing Ultimate. She says the sport is a great way to meet new people, however. Curtis also said that she would be open to coaching the sport in the future.
"I am very grateful to all of the coaches I have had," Curtis said. "If I could bring other people into the sport and give them some of the coaching I have gotten, that would be pretty rewarding I think."
Follow Kelsey Bode on Twitter @Kelsey_Bode.