Best Female Athlete You've Never Heard Of (2003)

Emily Copeland

We're a poorer state for it, but alas, Colorado isn't usually associated with the bikini sports. That's changing, thanks to the improbable emergence of Highlands Ranch native Emily Copeland, who, despite her landlocked upbringing, has become the country's best female wakeboarder. All of eighteen years old, Copeland has been competing nationally since she was fifteen. She started dominating the circuit in 2001, when she won the Vans Triple Crown Championship and ended the year ranked number one in the country. She finished first in the 2002 Gravity Games and Masters Tournament and won the gold medal in wakeboarding at the 2002 X Games before a late-season injury put her out of commission. Look for her to dominate again this summer.

Best Sporting Club You¹ve Never Heard OfHusband and wife snorkeler/stick-handlers Chris and Agnes DeBrunner of Conifer started DUH in 1993 after moving to Denver from Illinois, where Agnes's brother introduced her to the game. "It was a different game then," recalls Agnes. "More like a holding-your-breath contest." Today, thanks to modern gear like snorkels, fins and spatula-sized sticks, the game is played at the speed of, well, pushing around a weighted puck underwater. From above, a game can look like a group of very pale piranhas attacking a pancake. But, says Agnes, "It's good exercise -- I hate swimming laps -- and it's fun." The club, which boasts a mix of ice hockey and Ultimate Frisbee players, meets at the pool at Lakewood's Carmody Recreation Complex.


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