After coasting through statewide, regional, and national yo-yo contests and collecting a shiny first place medal at each stop, a UCSB student continued on to win second place in the 2013 World Yo-Yo Contest this summer.
Patrick Borgerding performed a three-minute choreographed routine before a panel of retired yo-yo champions. They judged his routine on technical execution, cleanliness, performance, and ability to thrill the audience.
Borgerding placed second in his division, division 3A, which is specific to contestants wielding two long-string yo-yos. Though this is the first year Borgerding qualified for the world championship, he is no stranger to competing, and winning.
“Everyone went through phases when they were young. First it was Pokémon, then Yu-Gi-Oh!, then everyone started yo-yoing,” he said. “But it was just a phase; everyone quit except me. “
“I was such a competitive little kid — I had no control over how much I wanted to win. I got first in the little regional competition and that kind of hooked me,” said Borgerding.
His winning streak had only just begun. After getting second place in the national competition two years in a row, Borgerding decided something had to be done. He practiced three to four hours each day for two months in preparation for this year’s national tournament, at which he finally won first place, automatically qualifying him for the world contest.
In the 10 months preceding the international competition, Borgerding continued to practice every day, slowing down only when UCSB’s coursework picked up. He’s double-majoring in economics and psychology.
Armed with a sponsorship from the largest yo-yo distributor in the world, YoYoFactory, Borgerding is frequently flown to make appearances at yo-yo events. He also owns more yo-yos than he can count, literally. He does not know how many he has but estimates upward of 500.
His current favorite, the Proton, was designed by his all-time-favorite yo-yo champion, Kentaro Kimura, who once personally told Borderging he had potential.
Borderging says that being a part of the yo-yo community since he was 9 years old helped him mature and foster creativity, as well as awakened a thirst to win, one he satiates constantly.