Balloon Landing Stuns UF Soccer Players
Friday, August 11 was a typical morning practice for the University of Findlay’s women’s soccer until one of the hot air balloons passing overhead made an unexpected landing at the Russ and Peg Armstrong Sports Complex. “It was a beautiful morning and a cool backdrop with the hot air balloons passing by us on their way to the Findlay Balloon Festival,” said head coach Michelle Rick. “As the balloons came closer, one of them seemed to be a little low in the sky and kept descending towards us, eventually landing on the grass right beside our training area.”
Practice stopped as coach Rick and her team worked to push the balloon to the gate closest to the Armstrong tennis courts. After battling the winds and the weight of the basket, the team assisted the balloonists until a truck arrived to rescue the balloon and its crew. “It definitely wasn’t what we had planned for practice that day,” Rick laughed. “All in all, it ended up being such a cool experience for the team. The balloons are incredible to look at in the sky from a distance, and seeing one up close was a unique opportunity.”
With the balloon and its passengers (two balloon pilots and a young girl) safely on the ground, Rick reflected on the experience. “The balloon’s flame was loud and it’s a whole different experience to be that close to one because it’s so large. You get an entirely different perspective on the scale from up close,” said Rick.