August 13, 2015
Salutations! We have reach the home stretch with 2 full days left in Toronto! As anxious as I was to be away from home and out of the country for the first time, this trip has been one for the books. Since arriving to Toronto, I’ve set out on a whirlwind of adventures from entering the mist of the Niagara Falls to exploring the halls of Casa Loma. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a Toronto FC game, a Blue Jays game, and Ripley’s Aquarium. Although these adventures have been exceptional, volunteering for the Parapan American games was the main attraction. My role is to be a host for the officials, meaning getting them towels, making sure they had plenty of snacks and getting them anything they needed. I enjoy my role because taking care of the referees allows me to set courtside for all the games!
One adventure that was super fantastic was my exploration of Casa Loma. Casa Loma was built in 1911 for Sir Henry Pellatt and his wife Mary Pellatt. When I visited this mansion, one significant part of the tour was venturing through the 800 ft. tunnel to reach the stable and garage where cars were displayed. This tunnel was dark, cold and eerie. I would never go back through tunnel. Another eventful part of the Casa Loma tour was going the top of the tower, which was the highest point in the mansion. The adventure to the top was rough due the narrow, frail stairway that was two ways apparently. After constant pushing and shoving we made it to the top and the view was totally worth it! One of best views I’ve seen!
Alongside Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby is another sport at the 2015 Parapan Am games. Wheelchair Rugby was created in Winnipeg in 1977 when a group of athletes—that were quadriplegic—wanted an alternative basketball. Men and women work together on the same team to advance the ball past the opponent’s goal. This can be done by passing, carrying or dribbling the ball to obtain the most goals. A goal is considered having possession of the ball as well as two wheels touching the goal line. Wheelchair Rugby athletes are categorized based on the classification of their physical impairments. This classification ranges from 0.5 to 3.5 points, with 0.5 expressing a more limitations. To keep the game fair, both team’s four players points cannot be more than 8 total.