Q&A With Sami Ludwig
Sami Ludwig had a busy week. She was the orchestrator of our trip to Rochester, New York to see our friend get married. But that’s not all she had on her plate this weekend. Ludwig, a native of Brunswick, Ohio, was also competing in this week’s slate of games as a Major League Quidditch player. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down and have a conversation with her about her life as an athlete.
Don Collins: So, how many years have you been an athlete?
Sami Ludwig: 17 years. I started when I was five years old.
DC: What was your favorite sport growing up?
SL: Marching band, I did that for four years. Does that count as a sport?
DC: Yeah, I’m going to advocate for the physical nature of marching band.
SL: I also really liked track. But I liked all my sports. Cheerleading, gymnastics, volleyball, track and field, dance, dodgeball and quidditch.
DC: When did you first know you wanted to play quidditch?
SL: Junior year of high school.
DC: What specifically drew you to the sport?
SL: It started in tryouts. The people in it. You instantly knew they were family to you. They cared about you, on the field and off the field.
DC: So, you would say that your quidditch family is made up of people you can count on?
SL: No doubt, I know from experience.
DC: Is there a time you can think of that made you know this as fact?
SL: When dodgeball turned me down at nationals due to injury, my whole [quidditch] team called me, messaged me, and made me feel wanted. Said they needed me and wanted me.
DC: What was the injury that held you out?
SL: I tore a ligament in my dominant hand playing dodgeball.
DC: Ouch! You played through pain?
DC: Would you say your injury is something that you had to overcome and have used to help inspire others?
SL: Oh yeah. I’m still overcoming it and it’s been almost a year. In terms of inspiring, yes and no. Yes, because people can overcome their injuries and struggles in their life. No because I should’ve stopped because I could’ve ruined my hand for the rest of my life. I didn’t [quit] though because I love my sport a lot and am too dedicated.
DC: Speaking of injury, do you want to talk about the concussion? What was that like?
SL: I basically got picked up off of the ground and shoved into the ground. I blacked out, lost my vision, came back with a concussion and bruised ribs. I couldn’t play the next day. At that point in time, I was in so much pain, I didn’t want to talk to anybody. The guy did come up and apologize and that matters because it is a sport. Although, I am kind of salty because I can never get [that time] back. But that’s coming from someone super dedicated.
DC: I know we spent a lot of time talking about injuries which aren’t exactly the most positive things in the world. I figured I’d ask something on the positive side to end. If you had a million dollars to spend on your sport, what are you doing first?
SL: I’d pay off the debt we’re in. So, people don’t have to spend money to go places. We could have more competition and meet new people. Others could have that experience who can’t afford it. I’d build new facilities and have indoor or outdoor practices that we don’t get due to other intramural leagues.
DC: Sounds like a good number of barriers to entry.
SL: Major league quidditch… I’m one of those people who can’t afford it. I went into this organization to see if I could be given a scholarship. MLQ is about $900 for the whole season. And it becomes more if you go to nationals. It becomes an expensive sport, but definitely worth it.
More about Sami
Bowling Green State University graduate student studying forensic crime investigation.
Member of Bowling Green Quidditch and the Cleveland Riffs of Major League Quidditch.
Primary position is Beater.
Accolades: All Star Beater in the Great Lakes Region.
Quote she lives by: “I never lose. Either I win, or I learn."
FACEBOOK: Sami Ludwig