The Dominant Double Dutch Forces
For 32 years, one double dutch team has reigned supreme. The Double Dutch Forces, based here in Columbia, won the 2017 World Championships in Sumter this year... meaning they have not lost a championship in those 32 consecutive years. But, what exactly does it take to win that many world championships?
According to the team, it's all about practice, hard work, and believing in yourself.
Once you have those tools, the next task is to win.
Not just against other teams in South Carolina. Not just against other teams in the United States. But against other countries such as Canada, France, and Japan.
For the Forces, however, they use these international competitions to learn about different cultures.
"We see Japan every year that we go to the world competition," says assistant coach and competitor Antoine Cutner. "They learn the national anthem, they give them little toys to play with... little memorabilia."
The Forces have multiple divisions and they start training some at the mere age of eight months old. For those in the high school division, double dutch has taught them more than just collecting trophies.
Ajophonie Goodwin, competitor in the high school division, said, "Being in double dutch, it not only taught us how to work as a team, but also how to build a bond and a friendship because that's most important."
Some may not consider double dutch a conventional sport like football, basketball, and baseball... but they say, if you try it, you'll quickly change your mind.
"Speed is... you can't pretend, you can't make it up," said head coach Joy Holman. "Freestyle, you gotta know what you're doing. It is a sport. It is a different sport."
And when it comes to the future of Double Dutch, they all agree on where'd they'd like to see the sport one day.
"I do want it to become an Olympic sport," Holman said. "That way people will practice, they'd be a lot more dedicated, and you get to see different countries and cultures."
The Forces will hold a double dutch camp the last two weeks of July at the Martin Luther King Center on Greene Street.