DENVER - Though it's not an Olympic sport, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Denver's Sloan's Lake in its 12th year took place July 28-29. The events included a ‘taste of Asia’ tour, authentic Asian music, and the ever popular dragon boat races.
Participating again this year, the University of Colorado Denver entered the competition with a team of students, staff and community members.
James Speed, co-captain and staff member in the Education Opportunity Program, said “Dragon Boat 2012 was a great experience for Team CU Denver to get to know one another a little better through making new bonds and friendships.”
This year’s competition had each team race in a 250-meter dash and the teams were then placed in either a competitive or novice bracket. Team CU Denver was in the competitive bracket alongside professional teams. In the competitive bracket teams were categorized in competitive, recreational and novice sub-brackets.
Overall, Team CU Denver placed 13 out of 27 teams but under the recreational sub-bracket they rowed into first place. All together, the team participated in two 250-meter and three 500-meter events.
This year’s team had 14 returning members as well as 13 new members. Team members include: Archie Dalton, Brad Anderson, Nema Sobhani, Melina Chacon, Mehdi Bandali, Kan Chantranuvatana, Lee Tran, Beatriz Salazar, Mitchell Heman, John Mulwa, Addison Haight, Carisa Weaver, Michele Hosaka, Kristen Fukumoto, Duy Tran, Dani Price, Francesca Becerra, Danielle Becerra, Melissa Ly, Pablo Gomez, Keven Shaw, Steven Ton, Connor Stanley, James Speed, Ryan Taves, Jessica Taves and Van Browning.
In previous years, teams only participated in the 250- meter race but this year there was an added 500-meter race. Speed said, “For our whole team this was a new experience, no one had done a race this long. Nevertheless, in each race we improved our time.”
Team CU Denver practiced every week for ten weeks to be in shape for the Dragon Boat Race.
Speed added “It was great to see the support of faculty, staff, students and other community members showing their support for CU Denver. Additionally, team members made personal sacrifices for the team as a whole; some said they did not want to race if it would hurt our chance of winning, forgoing their own experience for the satisfaction of winning as a team.
“Most importantly’ Speed concluded, "the goal of this year’s team was to represent CU Denver in the community and build new relationships while providing everlasting experiences to new members."