If you ask intern Austin Oberfrank what’s the least amount of sleep he has ever gotten, he will tell you about the night he slept for 30 minutes during Target USA CUP two years ago.
What seemed to be a normal day turned out to be a 21-and-a-half hour shift for Austin.
“The day started out fine and sunny, and just like that, we saw on the radar that the weather was going south. Everything was ruined after the storm came,” said Oberfrank. “There was about three feet of water between the Super Rink and the Stadium and a car stuck in mud. That wasn’t fun to pull out.”
Little sleep during Target USA CUP is an annual tradition for Austin. In his third year as an intern at the National Sports Center (NSC), it’s rare he gets full rest during the tournament.
Austin worked the previous two years in operations, but this year he is working as the opening ceremonies and activities intern—traditionally a two-person internship combined into one. Despite holding two new internships this year, Austin still helps out in operations, making him essentially the NSC’s “jack-of-all-trades”.
Just ask Austin what he has done in the last 24 hours.
“I’ve been putting together the awards for both the weekend and week tournaments, putting up cattle gates, flagging fields and putting out barrels,” said Oberfrank. “I had to get up at 4:30 this morning to meet a vendor. At 5 a.m., I moved a trailer around campus. I’ve been just about everywhere since.”
To top off his daily schedule, Austin is in charge of what many call USA CUP’s biggest event: opening ceremonies, which will be held Tuesday night at 6:30.
This year’s Target USA CUP features 1,152 teams, putting Austin to work in preparation for Tuesday night’s extravaganza. The work Austin puts behind opening ceremonies doesn’t start when fans fill NSC Stadium—it starts early that morning.
“There are a lot of tiny details that go into opening ceremonies that people don’t think about,” said Kelli Goodrich, Target USA CUP Recruiting Manager. “People remember the fireworks, stage and parade, but there’s so much that goes behind opening ceremonies. He and I tag-team from start to finish. We’re in charge of the National Anthem singer’s arrival. We’re in charge of providing meals for the stage crew that is there all day setting up.”
Austin and Kelli will wake up early Tuesday morning to make sure every tiny detail for opening ceremonies is in place. Austin says all of the hard work that goes behind Target USA CUP, especially this year’s opening ceremonies, is worth it. He aspires to continue to work in programming in the future, so being an opening ceremonies intern has given him opportunities many college students couldn’t imagine.
Austin credits his three summers spent at the NSC for improving his time management skills and pushing him outside of his comfort zone. Despite the minimal hours Austin sleeps during Target USA CUP, the hard work pays off in the end.
“The true motto that we live by at USA CUP is that it’s always for the kids.”