Making a splash
Videography by Vibhu Rangavasan
The Pyro Paddlers stayed in sync this summer, racing their way to solid finishes in two summer competitions.
UIC’s dragon boat team took the top spot in the Lizard division during the St. Charles Festival of the Fox dragon boat race June 11.
“Our victory was incredibly significant and sentimental to me,” said team co-captain Jenny Korn, a doctoral student in communication and gender and women’s studies.
“I burst into tears of joy in our boat upon realizing that we had won first place.”
In their final race of the season, UIC’s team finished seventh among 30 teams at the Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy June 25 in Chinatown.
“We made it all the way to the Top 8, and I know that our team earns the first-place medal for competing with the most heart,” Korn said.
The team, which originally formed in 2008, is composed of 20 members — students, staff, faculty and alumni. Dragon boat teams have 18 paddlers, a flag puller and a drummer who keeps the rhythm.
To be a dragon boat racer, it helps to possess athleticism and endurance, Korn said.
“Having strength is helpful, but it’s not enough,” she said. “Muscling through dragon boat is not the way to win. The ability to stay in sync through watching our lead paddlers, while having the stamina to paddle in a sustained manner, is what sets apart the skilled dragon boat racer.”