Have you ever traveled halfway around the world only to run into a fellow Gustie by surprise? While it seems unlikely, random Gustie connections happen all the time and sometimes the results of those connections are life changing.
One of those quirky connections happened last May as Kyle Momsen ’01 was traveling with the U.S. Fencing Team in Seoul, South Korea. Momsen, who is an adjunct instructor in the College’s Health and Exercise Science Department and the Director of the Athletic Training Education Program, decided to go watch a U.S. Wheelchair Tennis World Cup event during some free time.
“When the team heard I was from Gustavus they said I needed to meet their coach because he was from Gustavus too,” Momsen said. “The athletes said they were amazed at how they travel all over the world and meet more people from Gustavus than any large university or other school.”
Dan James ’92 is the National Head Coach of the U.S. Wheelchair Tennis Team. He joined the coaching staff in 1998 as the assistant coach at World Team Cup. He then served as the men’s head coach from 1999 to 2005 and in 2003 he joined the USTA full time as the National Manager for Wheelchair Tennis, running the training program for all teams as well as supervising grassroots initiatives. Currently, James is preparing teams and athletes for the Paralympic Games in London later this month.
As James and Momsen talked in Seoul, James asked Momsen if he would be interested in providing athletic training services at a team training camp James planned to hold at the University of Minnesota. That training camp is this week and Momsen, Kelli Buerman ’13, and Colin Rust ’10, a current physical therapy student at the U of M, are all working at the camp.
“We are fortunate to have this opportunity because it is a great learning experience for the students and alumni,” Momsen said. “Gustie connections sure are amazing!”
The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Paralympic Games will take place in London on Aug. 29. Wheelchair Tennis competition will begin on Sept. 1. You can follow the Paralympic Games, including Gustavus senior swimmer Anna Eames and Dan James and the U.S. Wheelchair Tennis Team by going online to london2012.com/paralympics.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin