Victims' Rights Caucus


Madam Speaker, I would like to recognize a young constituent of the Second Congressional District, Mr. Connor Konz, for his participation in the Discovery Kids Channel competition Endurance Fiji.

Connor is a 15-year-old sophomore at Atascocita High School in Humble, Texas. He was selected in June of this year as a participant after submitting a five-minute video describing himself and how he spends his free time.

The game consists of teams collecting 13 pyramid pieces which are essential inner qualities to complete the Pyramid of Endurance. They are Strength, Heart, Courage, Perseverance, Luck, Trust, Leadership, Discipline, Knowledge, Commitment, Teamwork, Ingenuity and Friendship. The first team to collect all 13 pieces wins the game. The teams earn pieces by winning physical and mental competitions.

Connor and his mother, Debbie Konz, were flown to Fiji on Aug. 12. After arriving, he was taken by boat from the airport to an island hotel and from there to another island for the competition.

By no means was this tropical island competition a Sunday picnic or vacation for Connor. He was without all of the daily teenage essentials such as no cell phone, MP3 player or digital camera the entire time he was on the island. He slept in a sleeping bag, in a bamboo hut with a thatched roof and no air conditioning. Connor said that the worst part of the experience was no electricity or indoor plumbing.

The teens also faced isolation by sleeping on a separate island away from their parents and didn't get to see them again until they were kicked off the show for losing a competition.

Connor had to use his physical and mental abilities to overcome the obstacles and challenges in the competition. It was an experience that pushed him farther than he thought he could go and resulted in lifelong friendships with the contestants.

Connor not only represented his family in the competition but Humble, Texas as well. I salute Connor Konz for enduring Fiji.

And that's just the way it is.