When you think of college students and sports, throwing a boomerang is not something that usually comes to mind.
But the sport of boomerang throwing has just provided Adam Stankiewicz '15 with an experience he will treasure for the rest of his life, and status as one of the top competitors in the world.
Stankiewicz, a junior in the University's Multimedia Web Design and Development program, recently returned from the 2014 World Boomerang Cup in Perth, Australia, where he finished in 8th place out of 74 individual competitors.
"Going into the individual competition, my goal was to be in the top 10, so I am happy with how I finished,” Stankiewicz said. Two years ago, at the 2012 World Boomerang Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Stankiewicz placed 18th in the individual competition.
In the team competition at the recent World Cup, Stankiewicz’s six-man team—Rad Evolution—finished in 3rd place, behind a tie for 1st place between Japan and an international team (consisting of multiple countries). The United States sent a second boomerang team that finished 5th overall. All together, 13 teams representing 14 countries participated in the team competition.
Stankiewicz loved both the challenge and the camaraderie of competing against the world’s top boomerang throwers.
“There are a lot of highly skilled throwers from around the world and it's a great feeling to be competing with them, both as friends and as competitors,” Stankiewicz said. “The competition itself is challenging, though, in that even if you are one of the best boomerang throwers on the field you need to be able to respond to subtle changes in wind direction and velocity. A gust of wind can easily blow your boomerang over your head, making you lose some valuable points.
“Everyone that goes to these World Boomerang Cups is part of a larger boomerang family,” Stankiewicz added. “It's a great time to be able to catch up with everyone around you.”
In addition to the thrill of competition and the experience of spending time with the close-knit family of elite boomerang throwers, Stankiewicz also enjoyed the spectacular location of the World Boomerang Cup, on the western coast of Australia.
“The experience of going to Perth, Australia, was absolutely amazing,” Stankiewicz said. “We had three or four days that could be used to travel around and see some of the nearby sights. For example, a few of us went to a beach to do some swimming in the Indian Ocean. I also did a lot of hiking at two or three national parks.
“I was actually able to pack my unicycle into my suitcase and unicycled on a lot of the hiking trails!,” Stankiewicz said. “It was really cool to see some of the wildlife in Australia as well, such as kangaroos and koalas. At one national park in particular, we were able to walk right up to the kangaroos—at one point, I was standing within five feet of one.”
Another highlight was visiting a museum in downtown Perth. “Of course, there were some great aboriginal boomerangs on display,” Stankiewicz said.
Although he was away for two weeks, Stankiewicz made arrangements with his professors to make up missed work, and he will be able to complete all of his spring semester classes.
Click here to read more about Stankiewicz.