News & Events

USA Wins 2010 World Championships

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USA Wheelchair Rugby won the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships for the 2nd consecutive time, bringing the US total to 4 wins in 5 World Championship appearances. USA Wheelchair Rugby won the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships for the 2nd consecutive time, bringing the US total to 4 wins in 5 World Championship appearances.

Richmond, British Columbia did an extraordinary job of hosting the 2010WWRC. The local press was all over the tournament and players were recognized across Vancouver. It is certainly a change when a late-arriving spectator is asked by the border guards if he is coming for the rugby, and ‘That Canada/Sweden game last night was a heart-breaker, such a close match.’ It’s phenomenal seeing rugby get the attention it deserves, even if everyone (parents included) was convinced that the seemingly ubiquitous posters of Ian Chan across town were either Will Groulx or Chuck Aoki.

The US won each of their matches, defeating Germany 54-37, Great Britain 54-45, Finland 65-44, Sweden 62-27, Canada 49-48, Japan 62-51 and Australia in the Gold Medal game 57-45. The Canada game was the match of the week, with the US trailing until the final two seconds of the game. Canada had lost their earlier match against Sweden that day by one point in overtime and they needed this win on home soil.

Coach Gumbie said of the Canada game, “We will look back on this as the one that proved to us that we can overcome adversity with the home crowd and a tough opponent, and give us the confidence moving forward from here to face adversity and overcome it. From a coaching perspective and as a fan to see that many people screaming was really neat for our sport.”

The match against Australia in the final seemed like déjà vu for anyone who watched the US play Australia in Beijing. Coach Gumbie agrees: “Going into the game it was a classic rematch of the Beijing Gold Medal Game. Australia has a much deeper team now, and they entered Worlds with a more favorable pool. During the game the deuces jumped Australia early on defense. The 3-0 start put them down early and forced them to play from behind. The depth of the US team was a big factor in the game, and we were able to play all facets of the game well. We had a lot of turnovers on both sides, but the US took advantage of two technical fouls that contributed to a nine point lead at halftime and a twelve point win.” Beautifully played by USA!

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to all the players and staff of USA Wheelchair Rugby. It’s been a long journey for all involved but that gold medal looks great on you! We also need to thank all of the organizers up in British Columbia for the detailed work they’ve put in over the past several years planning this event. The Richmond Oval was an incredible venue, livestreamed the matches and the 2010WWRC staff made excellent use of social media with their frequently updated Facebook and Twitter sites, along with their superb website. They report that over 14,000 people attended the games over the week while people watched the games online from 41 countries!

What is next for USA Wheelchair Rugby? With the club season starting up there’s no rest for the wicked and USA tryouts will be up again December 15-19 at Lakeshore. Best of luck to all the men and women invited to attend, and we thank you for your hard work representing the USA across the globe. USA RUGBY!
Story by Carolyn Boebinger photos by Kevin Bogetti-Smith.

October 14, 2010 — 8:10pm