Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Whirlwind Day in Toronto

August 5, 2015

It’s been another whirlwind day here in Toronto.  Started off with an early day at 7:30 to eat breakfast before we headed off to pick up our accreditation and uniforms for the games.  Surprisingly it was a fast process to pick everything up, but it also helped we were the only ones there.  We had a few hours to do what we wanted before the next meeting so a few of us went out for lunch and explore the area.  Our next stop was at the Ryerson Athletic Center to have our training and tour the facility.  This is the area where we will be volunteering with wheelchair basketball.  Once finishing the tour we realized we had 2 hours until our dinner.  So what does a group do to kill 2 hours?  Shop! Specifically at PATH, the worlds largest underground shopping complex.  After a very long walk through China Town, we got to whine down at Kensington Cornerstone Restaurant.  Finally, we have arrived back at the dorms and we are all calling it an early night.  We have so much more to do around the city!

Boccia is one of the many sports that are being played at the Parapan Am Games.  It is a tactical target sport where athletes propel balls as close as possible to the white target ball, known as the “jack”.  It was originally to only be played by those with cerebral palsy, but it now includes athletes with other disabilities that affect motor skills.  It can be played individually, in pairs, or teams.  Boccia is also a co-ed sport.  Each competitor is given six balls and much like golf, the furthest player from the jack gets to toss a ball.  One point is awarded to the team whose ball is closest to the jack, and additional points are added for every ball that is closer to the jack than the opponent’s closest ball.  Boccia is fairly unknown, but is just as fun to watch as other Parapan Am sports!

Fun fact:  Boccia is one of only 3 Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart.
If you would like to watch Boccia in action, here is a highlight video from the London 2012 Paralympic Games:

--Sarah Kent

Only a small portion of the PATH
We got some cool new gear!

Team race

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