Interviews with Saint Mary’s international athletes, from Germany to New Zealand, share how they come together and celebrate the American holiday.
By Eden Llodrá
As the trees on campus turn a red-orange and students begin to bundle up, Thanksgiving break arrives. For most students, this is a time to reunite with family and friends, eat turkey and mashed potatoes, and possibly watch a football game. However, for international students, specifically athletes, going home for a week is oftentimes out of the question. Nevertheless, team members get together on their own and make sure they spend quality time being grateful for each other's company.
Caelen Potts, a junior on the men's tennis team said, “Nearly all of our team is international so we can't go home for Thanksgiving break. But we still get together with friends and try to celebrate the American tradition.”
When asked about the team’s plans for Thanksgiving break, Valentin Kurz, a junior on the soccer team said, “Most American players from the team go home for Thanksgiving, so the international students usually go with one of their American teammates to their home.” The soccer team, like all teams at Saint Marys, aims to be inclusive and make sure the teammates all have a place to stay, especially during a holiday break.
This year, Kurz said, “My roommate, from New Zealand, and I (from Germany) are taking a trip up to Seattle to celebrate.”
Since Thanksgiving is only celebrated in America, international athletes normally would not celebrate the holiday at home. Kurz said, “Thanksgiving in itself doesn't make me miss home more than usual since we don't have Thanksgiving back home.” This break does not instigate the feeling of homesickness for abroad students, yet is a family-oriented time for most American students.
During this break, it is clear that Saint Mary’s teams make an effort to celebrate together. From spending so much time training together, living and breathing their sport, they have become a family. Even though international athletes do not get to go home for the week, Potts said, “We all have similar friend groups, so no matter what we usually spend time together.”
As the air has crisped and the leaves fall, autumn is here at Saint Mary’s, and athletes both local and foreign unite to celebrate the meaning of family.
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Ryan Ford '23,