Marie-Sophie Boggasch, die bis 2012 das KRK-Bundesligateam unterstütze und dem Verein immer noch sehr verbunden ist, zog es es nach ihrem hervorragenden Abitur nach Alaska, wo sie ein Stipendium erhielt.
Nach vierjährigem Studium und als wertvolles Mitglied der Uni-Mannschaft der Alaska-Seawolves hat sie nun mit Auszeichnung die Universität vorerst verlassen und ist Berufspilotin, sowie bereits Fluglehrerin. Ein weiteres Jahr wird sie auf alle Fälle in Anchorage bleiben und dort vorerst als Flugschüler unterrichten. Wie ihre Zukunft, mit ihren erst 20 Jahren danach aussehen wird, wird sich in sicherlich im Jahr 2017 entscheiden..
Wir sind stolz auf Marie-Sophie und den großen Bericht, der über sie und ihre Teamkollegin, der Österreicherin Simone Penker, anlässlich ihrer Graduierung erschienen ist.
Herzlichen Glückwunsch Marie-Sophie! Wir freuen uns schon auf deinen nächsten Besuch in der Halle in wenigen Wochen.
Scholar-Athletes: Two airborne gymnasts share prestigious Dresser Cup for top academic performances
April 28, 2016
Strong and smart. Those two characteristics spring to mind when Simone Penker and Marie-Sophie Boggasch join the conversation.
I met both seniors in late April, right after the two Div. 1 gymnasts shared the honor of winning UAA’s Dresser Cup, recognizing them for earning the highest overall GPA among Seawolf student athletes. Drum roll, please: Simone and Marie-Sophie finished UAA with 4.0s, Simone in natural sciences and Marie-Sophie in professional piloting and aviation technology.
Simone heads off to medical school in the fall. Marie-Sophie will be back at UAA in August, continuing her job as flight instructor for another year. She’s also eyeing the chance for more Bush flying experience in her final year in the United States.
A student is more than a GPA, and an athlete is more than her score in a particular event. The richness of their individuality is readily apparent when talking with these two scholar-athletes. But before we get to how unique each student is, let’s talk about their many similarities.
As international students and athletes at UAA, they share many factors:
- both started gymnastics as tykes, at about age 7.
- both were identified as possessing natural talent and strength, and then guided into their competitive careers from this early age.
- both speak German: Marie-Sophie hails from Germany, and Simone from Austria.
- both had European coaches who directed them toward U.S. college gymnastics, something that doesn’t exist in their home countries. There, athletes either compete in their sport, retire and then go to school or work. College athletics isn’t the norm, they explained.
- both struggled mightily with the transition from European to U.S. training and competition schedules (example: 30 hours a week in Europe, versus 20 hours a week here), but both ultimately thrived at UAA.
- both had to adjust to gymnastics as a team sport in America, rather than the individual sport it is in Europe.
- both scored big for UAA gymnastics over their four year careers.
- both reveal a deep inner drive to excel.
- both relished participating in their sport, pushing themselves hard to achieve and improve.
- both carried that drive into the classroom, with an eye toward their future ambitions.
- both finished their athletic careers in good physical shape, injury-free, which is hard to do in such a high-impact, pounding sport like gymnastics.
- both, with big smiles, have declared their official gymnastics retirements.
Now, here’s what uniquely different about each one.
Marie-Sophie has her own small, red airplane, lovingly dubbed “My Little Turd.” She has her commercial piloting license, her single engine seaplane rating, multi-engine land rating and instrument ratings for all of those. She remembers the day she earned her private pilot’s license: May 27, 2013.
While a student at UAA, Marie-Sophie Boggasch bought her own plane, affectionately dubbed “My Little Turd.” She teaches flying at UAA, and relishes piloting around Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Marie-Sophie Boggasch)
The next rating that she could work for, the ATP, or the airline transport pilot, is required for flying scheduled airlines. But, at the tender age of 20, she’s not old enough to study and apply for it. Still, she could fly charters in the Alaska Bush, and she says she’d love to do that.
Marie-Sophie Boggasch excelled at bars and floor work. On the bars, “the flying around part is really nice,” she said. (Photo courtesy goseawolves.com.”
She’s landed in lakes and on Alaska gravel bars, a huge thrill every time for her. She’s flown as far north as Fairbanks, and as far south as Homer and Iliamna. She dreams of flying out of northwestern Alaska. “Kotz[ebue]is really cool,” she said. “From the pictures I’ve seen, and the destinations you can fly to from there, I think Kotz is one of the coolest places I have ever heard about.”
You know the old saying: There are old pilots. There are bold pilots. But there are no old, bold pilots. Well, Marie-Sophie is a young, careful pilot. “I try to never push the limit,” she says. “If the weather is bad, I won’t go. Most of the time, you don’t have to go.”
For two years now, Marie-Sophie has been hired to help instruct students working for their private pilot’s license. The day before we met, she’d been going for 12 hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., including her own classes and her job as an instructor.
“I really like to be there for my students,” she said. “I remember being that student who wanted to get their private pilot’s license before she went home for the summer. Some are really driven and they want to get it done. I try to accommodate my schedule for them. They need me.”
Marie-Sophie Boggasch competes for UAA against the U. S. Air Force. (Photo courtesy goseawolves.com)
For all that bird-like flying freedom, you might be surprised to find out how she likes to relax. She says, “For me, a perfect evening is sitting at home eating good cheese (that would be imported European cheese) and playing board games. I love to play board games!”
I wondered if almost a decade and a half of gymnastics would be hard to say goodbye to. While she relished the opportunity gymnastics provided to “actually push myself to limits—it’s not easy for me, I have to work hard at it,” she sounds absolutely comfortable with her decision to retire.
Choosing the sport in the first place was the best decision she ever made. (“I am here. I got an entire education in the United States because of gymnastics.”) But choosing to retire now, she says, “feels great. By the time you are a senior, you are in pain. Your body hurts. I was prepared to deal with that, and now, I am prepared to let it go.”
Both she and Simone say maintaining a fitness schedule will be very important for them in retirement. Gymnastics is such a high impact sport with repetitive pounding that they both realize strong muscles are necessary to keep their hard-worked joints stable.
The funniest thing about Marie-Sophie is that she knew she wanted to become a pilot “since I was about 4 years old, practically.” By the time she was 14, her dad actually became a pilot for her so they could fly together while she was too young to pilot.
But UAA’s aviation technology program was news to her when she arrived, discovered after the fact. Like a match made in heaven, she gravitated to the program and says she greatly appreciates the professors and the entire curriculum. It fit her goals exactly. During her senior year, she served as president of the aviation club, called Alpha Eta Rho, in UAA’s Alpha Alpha chapter. The club is very active, visiting FedEx simulators and the JBER fleet, among many other actvities. “We planned something every two weeks” she said with pride.