World Cup community contributors
Seattle Times readers are headed to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup. Follow them as they send dispatches from the matches they attend as well as notes about their experiences traveling in the country.
Name: Jeff Aumell
Hometown: Sammamish, Wash.
Traveling with: Former University of Washington soccer teammate Eddie Henderson and other Seattle soccer guys (Brett Steelsmith and Marc Garth-Green).
Why attending: We are going to the World Cup because we love the sport. Also, we won tickets through the FIFA ticket lottery over a year ago.
Matches attending: Germany vs. Australia; Spain vs. Switzerland; Holland vs. Japan; Nigeria vs. South Korea; Brazil vs. Portugal.
Name: Kurt Austin
Hometown: Independence, Mo.
Traveling with: Former college roommate and soon-to-be groomsman Ben Novak.
Why attending: I attended the 2006 World Cup in Germany and pledged to never miss another one.
Matches attending: USA vs. England; Netherlands vs. Denmark; Argentina vs. South Korea; USA vs. Slovenia; Brazil vs. Ivory Coast; USA vs. Algeria; Cameroon vs. Netherlands.
Name: John Case
Traveling with: Going solo.
Why attending: I am visiting and hosting customers from across Africa at the World Cup. Overall, I love the World Cup (and South Africa)! This is my third World Cup and fourth visit to South Africa.
Matches attending: Brazil vs. North Korea; South Africa vs. Uruguay; USA vs. Slovenia.
Name: Doug Haines
Traveling with: A group of eight other soccer-loving Seattlelites.
Why attending: I've been a soccer fan ever since I saw Pelé play in Memorial Stadium back in 1976. And how can you pass up the World Cup in South Africa? What a great opportunity!
Matches attending: USA vs. England; Netherlands vs. Denmark; USA vs. Slovenia; Mexico vs. France; Brazil vs. North Korea.
Name: Corey Johnson
Hometown: Nkomazi, South Africa by way of Yakima, Wash.
Traveling with: Andrew and Peter: Two former University of Washington fraternity brothers turned philanthropic partners.
Why attending: It was hard to pass up as I'm a huge soccer fan and currently manage an educational non-profit in South Africa. As someone who lives here, I can't wait for the rest of the world to see how special this country and its people are.
Matches attending: USA vs. Slovenia; Brazil vs. Ivory Coast; USA vs. Algeria.
Name: Olufemi Kalejaiye
Traveling with: Microsoft colleagues Wale Martins and Paul Onakoya, devoted fans of the Nigeria Super Eagles.
Why attending: Why not? It's the greatest sporting event in the world — definitely the experience of a lifetime!
Matches attending: Nigeria vs. Argentina; Nigeria vs. Greece; Nigeria vs. South Korea; Round of 16; Quarterfinals; Semifinals; Finals.
Name: Mark Loschky
Hometown: Bellevue, Wash.
Traveling with: My immediate family (wife: LeiMomi and sons: Kekoa, 11, and Nainoa, 9), as well as Nainoa's soccer coach, Brian McInnes, and his son Jerrod, 10, and Dianne Uplinger, who has been to South Africa many times.
Why attending: Several reasons: 1. We are soccer junkies — I started playing here in Seattle in 1969. This will be the first World Cup for all of us though; 2. To give our boys a better perspective on what life is like outside of Bellevue; 3. To run a three-day mini World Cup soccer tournament in Loskop, South Africa (between Johannesburg and Durban) for orphans living at the Kwethu Children's Village and a nearby elementary school. It is going to be crazy: 360 soccer players grades 1 -7, boys and girls, 71 teams, 18 referees, 10 person security force, 142 group play matches with championship pairings on the afternoon of Sunday, July 4! We created and organized the whole event from here in Bellevue (no, we have never run a tournament before). Kekoa, Nainoa and Jerrod will each be on a team.
Matches attending: Three Round of 16 games; Semifinals.
Name: Jennifer Mars
Hometown: Lynnwood, Wash.
Traveling with: My husband, Shaun Mars.
Why attending: Although June 7 is our official anniversary date, my husband and I are taking our celebration to South Africa to live it up with the rest of the world.
Matches attending: USA vs. England; USA vs. Slovenia; USA vs. Algeria.
Name: Paul Onakoya
Traveling with: Microsoft colleagues Wale Martins and Olufemi Kalejaiye, devoted fans of the Nigeria Super Eagles.
Why attending: For vacation! This is the first World Cup tournament that I'll be attending — so excited that it's in Africa.
Matches attending: Nigeria vs. Argentina; Brazil vs. Ivory Coast; Nigeria vs. Greece; Nigeria vs. South Korea; Round of 16; Quarterfinals; Semifinals; Finals.
Name: Brett Steelsmith
Traveling with: Seven friends from the Seattle area.
Why attending: This is my fourth World Cup and second in a row. The main reason for the trip is soccer and the Cup, but we are also spending time seeing the sights of Africa.
Matches attending: Germany vs. Australia; Spain vs. Switzerland; Japan vs. Holland.