Let Them Play It

Guest article by Laurel Oldershaw

Let them play the clip again and again when I go down and break my leg in an attempt to sky Jenny Wei. Was it a rookie mistake? Perhaps. A late jump? Could be. An injury that compounded from potential shin splints and exhaustion? Also a possibility. 

Playing in the All Star Game was some of the most fun I have ever had playing any sport. Breaking both bones in my lower leg happens. We all get injured at some point if we push ourselves past our limits to become better athletes and in turn, better people. 

With the recent video that came out, as well as Charlie Eisenhood's article on Ultiworld regarding bad bids in ultimate, I feel obliged to add my voice. This is different than bad bids featured in Eisenhood's article as most of those have been layout bids in an effort to horizontally go through another person to get the d, whereas this was a jump. Secondly, many people involved with those bids have not spoken up. The discussion has instead been centered around the opinions of those unaffected by the spectacle of injury. I have had the chance to reach out to Jenny Wei and discuss the incident with her. I appreciate her talking with me and I look forward to a spirited face off in the future. However, before we as a community jump into widespread public discussions about dangerous bids, let's hear first from the players involved, and then bring it to the larger community. Isn't that how any call on the field is made? 

Jenny Wei is an amazing defender. She is a vocal deep deep that commands the entire field. She boxed me out cleanly and got to the disc first. She's a solid handler who, upon the turn, moves the disc quickly to her upfield cutters to increase the effectiveness of the All Star junky d. To future opponents, watch out! To young players, watch her over and over again. She knows great strategy for us to learn from.  

So let them play the clip of me running into JWei and breaking my leg. Let them see the angles and the camera shots and let Ultiworld do their job of objectively reporting newsworthy events. Anybody who plays elite ultimate knows, it's not about how you fall, it's about how you rise. I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world to rise with an incredible team behind me - huge shoutout to my teammates on Nightlock! I also am extremely lucky to play in a community of inspirational and courageous women who have reached out to me to share their support over the past couple days. And lastly, being called a star from the All Stars themselves makes me truly feel like a shooting star. 

So let them play the clip. That's not important to me. Bones heal. I will do my best to recover quickly because I got to play against the speed of Jesse Shofner, the throws of Stevie Miller, the layouts of Claire Revere, and the defense of Jenny Wei. I cannot think of any more of a reason to heal fast than to see these incredible women again on the field. If Ultiworld decides to first post a video of me breaking my leg rather than the incredible plays that make me want to be an elite athlete in the first place, then that's an independent news decision they have made.  

Let them play the clip. Let this bid get added to the list of dangerous plays in the world of sports that can be found anywhere on the Internet. Let them attempt to distract the phenomenal force of women in ultimate by talking about this injury and not the talent present at the event where it happened.

This is a big week for elite ultimate as the best teams in the women's division face off this weekend at Colorado Cup, where 14 of the 16 teams present are coming off seasons that ended at nationals. I wish Nightlock and the rest of the teams the best of luck! Play hard. Play spirited. Play your game. Let them play the clip, and I'll see you on the field real soon. 

Photo: Kyle MCBARD - UltiPhotos

Photo: Kyle MCBARD - UltiPhotos