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The Ultimate Athlete

The Ultimate AthleteOne of the best collegiate athletes in ultimate Frisbee while at Tufts, Johanna Neumann is playing for gold in the sport at the World Games. Akita, Japan.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.20.01] With top collegiate and national honors already under her belt, Johanna Neumann has set her sights on her sport's international crown. The Tufts grad -- who is one of the most talented members of the U.S. Ultimate Frisbee Team -- is in Japan this week to play for a gold medal at the World Games.

The international event, which started on Sunday, is perhaps her most challenging competition -- it marks ultimate Frisbee's debut on the global competitive stage of the Games.

But Neumann may be the best equipped athlete in the country to take on the challenge.

"Neumann is considered one of the best young ultimate Frisbee players in the United States," reported The Boston Globe. "At Tufts, she won the Callahan Award, given to the college's top player, and last year she won a national championship with Boston's Lady Godiva team."

A fierce competitor, she quickly became a standout at Tufts.

"Among college women, she's one of the all-time starting seven," Paul Sackley -- Tufts' ultimate Frisbee coach -- told the Globe. A former teammate told the newspaper, "People would come out to the games just to watch her."

And they almost always got a show.

"Throughout her six year ultimate Frisbee career, Neumann has almost always been on," reported the Globe. "She was Tufts' leader and best player as the team placed among the top eight schools the past two years at the College Nationals, college ultimate Frisbee's championship tournament."

Once, reported the Globe, she even played with a stress fracture in her leg.

That dedication has followed her to the nationl level. Joey Gray -- the director of ultimate Frisbee's U.S. governing body -- told the newspaper, "She's on the top end of the scale of gutsiness."

This week, Neumann is focusing her talents on the sport's international crown.

"I'm competitive and have a lot of pride, but I also love to have fun," she told the Globe. If her record is any indication, her approach is extremely successful.

"I don't know if stuff works out," she told the Globe, "or if I make it into something good."

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