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Three students trying to make it through Europe with only cans of Red Bull

Students hope to participate in ‘Red Bull Can You Make It?’ challenge

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When traveling to a foreign country, it’s common for travelers to exchange currency. Three UB students are purposefully not doing this.

Rather than money, they’ll be using an energy drink to pay their way through Europe.

Three UB students are attempting to make the cut of participating in the “Red Bull Can You Make It?” challenge, in which 165 student teams from more than 50 countries will travel across Europe for seven days with only Red Bull energy drinks as currency. The winning team will win a paid summer vacation in Europe.

When dropped off at their first destination, all competitors will have their phones and wallets taken. In exchange, they will receive 24 cans of Red Bull, which they must budget and use in creative ways in order to make their way through seven checkpoints and ultimately to the final destination: Paris.

Three UB students, Chris Komin and Jake Dixon, both junior media study majors, and George Gombert, a junior mechanical engineering major, have hopes of competing in this year’s challenge, which runs from April 12-19.

Komin, Dixon and Gombert, who refer to themselves as “Queen City Can Make It,” must be in the top 18 of the eastern region of the United States to make it through to the next round of the competition. From there, four teams from each region – north, south, east and west – will be chosen by Red Bull judges to determine who goes to Europe.

Each team must submit a one-minute video that creatively displays why they should be chosen for the challenge.

The winning decisions will be based on “video creativity, charm and energy,” according to the challenge’s official website.

All three students are a part of UB’s Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC). Komin and Dixon, both Buffalo natives, have been close friends since middle school, bonding through their mutual love of the outdoors and adventure. Earlier this year, they met Gombert through OAC, and the three of them immediately clicked.

“This is the perfect competition for us. We all backpack, we all travel and we love adventure,” Dixon said.

Komin, Dixon and Gombert said that their backgrounds in outdoor activities and media study would give them an upper hand in the competition. They said they have the knowledge, interest and drive to succeed at this unique competition because of their numerous trips with the OAC and their videography skills.

Dixon said he frequently watches videos from previous years, which help to “really amp him up.” He said that, if chosen, the three of them would have an exciting experience and possibly even win the whole challenge.

Unlike many competitions, the winner is not chosen by who reaches the final destination first, but rather by who had the best adventure throughout. Komin explained that each team’s adventure is based off a point system.

“You are given a camera and when you’re there you share your story and what you’ve been trading for Red Bull. There are different point values for different items traded,” Komin said.

Past participants have traded Red Bull for items such as tattoos or skydiving. In terms of points, Dixon said the more unique the better.

Komin, Dixon and Gombert have taken to advertisements in order to receive as many votes as possible.

Their video will be on a 24/7 loop on Time Warner Cable News until Feb. 25.

They have also developed a Facebook page where every step on their journey is documented and followers are encouraged to spread the word. Fliers have been placed all over campus on bulletin boards and tables. The “Queen City Can Make It” website has been projected on the screens of many lecture halls.

“The main thing now is to get the community’s support,” Gombert said. “UB is so big that it’s hard to get the word out to everyone, but we are trying hard.

Kori Hughes is a news staff writer and can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com.


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