Anika Quon

S: Describe your athletic resume, like what sports you do and how long you’ve done them.

A: In middle school – I went to Bush – I did, in 7th grade, ultimate and that was just like for one

year. So I guess that’s when ultimate started. 9th and 10th grade I did cross-country skiing and I didn’t really get anything – I got really local races where there were like 3 people in them so I won that… that didn’t happen junior year but I did cross country running in 11th grade – this year – in the fall and then I’ve done ultimate all three years: 9th, 10th, and 11th. In that I got two first teams.

S: And Seven Hills!
A: Oh yeah! I’ve done it outside, too.
S: How did you, like, get into it, like each of the sports you did?
A: I stared ultimate because of my brother because he played and my dad playing when he was in college so like I kind of, like, grew up with it. Or not really but I always just thought it was a cool sport and I’m really competitive with my brother so I wanted to beat him. Cross country skiing we’ve done it like a couple times on a family trip and I just thought it was fun and like Bush is one of the only places – or it’s the only school in Seattle that you can be on a ski team, so I thought that was a really unique opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of. Running, I just enjoy running. Batey’s really cool.
S: What has like kept you doing your sports? What about them keeps you doing them?
A: Yeah. I think it’s really unique for each of the sports I do. So, like, for running, it’s one of those things where it’s an entirely mental thing so you just like… I mean obviously you have to be physically fit but it really pushes you to your limit and teaches you to take as much out of it as you want to put into it and so I think that’s really cool and it’s a really good way to test your mental abilities. And it’s a good way to get in shape for ultimate, which is my favorite sport. Ultimate, like the spirit and it’s such a competitive sport for me at least, and I still have such good bonds with everyone and it’s such a family and the spirit of it is so great. Cross country skiing: I just love the snow and being out there.
S: If you have any, who are your, like, athletic role models?
A: Like coaches, or like at Bush…?
S: Like anyone.
A: Like anyone ever?
S: Anyone.
*both laugh*
A: Um, I think it’s really cool for ultimate that we have, like, the top players in the nation as our coaches. So like I definitely look up to that. Just like being able to learn from them like hands on and like face to face, and like get that advice and have them as role models… I don’t know… you’re my role model! You’re a beast on the ultimate field… but yeah a lot of the peers – my peers – at Bush.
S: Do you watch any sports on TV?
A: I watch ultimate games!
S: Haha nice. I can’t figure out how to watch them on TV b/c my TV provider like doesn’t work with it or something, I don’t know, it’s wack.
A: Yeah, I just like – there are some long games. I just watch them on Youtube, but they’re like the hour and a half long ones so it’s basically like TV.
S: Next question is: What are some obstacles you’ve faced growing up like with sports?
A: Um, I think for ultimate, it was really hard for me like the first year that I played because my brother always played and he was like naturally a star kind of, and like I struggled so much my first year of ultimate. I remember I would get really frustrated and I like – I was in 7th grade so I cried, I mean I still cry when I get frustrated, but like I would cry because like my throws sucked and I felt like I was so bad. So I guess it’s hard when you have someone who you’re so competitive with but you just feel like no matter what you do you can’t meet their standards. I guess that was kind of Cross Country Running because I’m just not that great a runner but that one I didn’t mind so much because it was just for fun.
S: Have you ever had any obstacles specifically being a girl in athletics?
A: Um, I feel like in my experience it hasn’t been that bad. I think the worst that it’s gotten is coed ultimate at Bush. It’s definitely really cool to see how it’s changed as I’ve gotten older but I feel like I’ve had to work so much harder to gain respect on that team before people start throwing to me instead of like the guys, even if they’re like – like they don’t have to work as hard to gain respect or like be thrown to or whatever.
S: Yeah. Yeah I agree. Next question is: What are, like, your goals for the future for sports?
A: I definitely want to play ultimate in college. That would be awesome. I don’t know, I haven’t thought that far ahead. I don’t think I’m like good enough in any other sport enough to continue it. But like, and like I want to keep like taking all the opportunities that I can so I’m really sad that I missed Worlds tryouts last year like even if I like know that I’m not gonna make it I want to get the opportunity so like eventually I can maybe someday make the Worlds team. But like I definitely want to go as far as I can in ultimate.

S: Sick. Last thing, I’m presenting to some young students at the end of my project to educate them on what it’s like to be a woman in athletics but also empower them and get them hyped about sports, so is there anything you want to say to them?
A: I mean like… Now I’m watching them play baseball and I realized that I used to play like softball, I swam, I played soccer, I did like horseback riding, I did like twenty different sports. And it takes a long time to find one that you really love and so like just because you’re bad at one – like I was at ultimate – doesn’t mean you can’t go far in it in the end and you have to push for it. And just because one sport doesn’t work out doesn’t mean you’re not athletic or that you can’t be great at other sports. So you just have to find one that you really love and it’s nice if you feel like you can improve and you can go far in it.