D-M major catches world frisbee title

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. -- Walking through the halls of a squadron or standing in line at the Base Exchange, it's hard to imagine that the person passing you or standing behind you could be a world-class athlete, but at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, expect it. 

Maj. Ben Thielhorn, 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern operations and planning training manager, along with his 16-member team, recently competed in the 2006 World
Ultimate Club Championship Frisbee Tournament, in Perth, Australia. 

"We took sixth place out of 11 Masters teams," said Major Thielhorn. "In this tournament the best teams in the world compete." 

Major Thielhorn has been competing in Ultimate Frisbee for more than 26 years. His Frisbee career started in 1980 during his college days at the Florida Institute of Technology. Since then he has won two German national championships while stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, from 1998 to 2001. He also placed second in two of seven U.S. national championships and second in the World Ultimate Beach Championship Frisbee tournament in Figueira da Foz, Portugal in 2004. 

"Ultimate Frisbee is a great way to incorporate the Wingman concept," said Major Thielhorn. "It introduces teamwork while providing aerobic fitness training." 

In addition to playing, Major Theilhorn shared his love and knowledge of the sport while coaching the U.S. Air Force Academy Ultimate Frisbee team. 

"I wanted to introduce Ultimate Frisbee at the cadet level, which would hopefully carry on to their units and build up interest throughout the Air Force," said Major Thielhorn. 

During his three-year tour at USAFA (2001-2003), where he taught Aerodynamics, he led
the team to the college regional quarter finals twice. 

Although Major Thielhorn will retire from the Air Force this year, he has no plans of retiring from Ultimate Frisbee. According to him, he will play until his Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstructed knees give out. 

"I recommend joining or starting an Ultimate Frisbee team to anyone who wants to
get a great aerobic workout and build athletic endurance."