Get your freak on with these off-beat Pan Am sports

TORONTO—The Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are coming to Toronto.  Don’t let sluggish ticket sales keep you from events you likely won’t get a chance to witness otherwise.  Here’s a list of some unique sports on tap, plus tips for the uninitiated fan.

  1. Table Tennis.  Remember that epic match you had with your brother in the summer of 1994?  Well, what you see here will be nothing like that.  Expect small balls, small bodies and big follow through.  The only noise you’ll hear in the venue will be the exertion of throwing 95 pounds behind hitting something that weighs 2.7 grams.
  2. Waterski and wakeboard. Grab a beer, slap on some sunscreen and enjoy the action.  It’s like being at the cottage and seeing that hot guy who’s an awesome skier come flying by.  Except here, you can plan the encounter instead of waiting around on the dock all day, hoping to catch a glimpse.
  3. Roller-figure skating. It’s figure skating.  On roller skates.  Your childhood passion meets the flair and drama of ice skating.  One can only hope satin jackets will be part of the act.
  4. Squash.  It’s like racquetball, but the ball is smaller and harder. The rackets look better equipped to catch butterflies than smash a ball.
  5. Racquetball.  It’s like squash, but the ball is bigger and squishier. The rackets really hurt if your opponent accidentally hits you in the knee.
  6. Bowling.  The athletes are reminiscent of baseball pitchers – a beer gut seems only to enhance a player’s skill.
  7. Handball. Not quite basketball and not quite soccer.  A sport that has somehow survived the culling of athletic evolution.
  8. Mountain bike.  Bet on which rider will be filthiest at the finish line.  Great legs and cool sunglasses on display.
  9. BMX.  The show-offs of the cycling world.  There’s a reason you had a grade five crush on the boy with the tricked out dirt bike.

Image: The emblem of PASO. Fair use.

Molly Donovan

Molly Donovan

I grew up in the USA, but don’t hold that against me because I’m also Canadian.

Just think of me as the mole.

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