Friday, August 7, 2015

Be in the Mist

August 7, 2015

Another beautiful day in the cultured city of Toronto. I’m somewhat starting to learn the metro system and my way around the city…that is if I’m not falling asleep on subway. I’m certain I’m the sleepy head of the group. The day started out with an early visit to the gym, which by the way, was extremely nice and cheap! $14 for 14 days, what a steal! Definitely hard to find that kind of deal in the states. Following the gym a group of 10, myself included, jumped on a Safeway tour bus and went exploring outside the city to one of the 7 wonders of the world, Niagara Falls! No words can describe the beauty of these falls, which were created by the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age) over 10,000 years ago. The Canadian side was far more of a beast than the USA side. Sorry America, but Canada wins this battle. We all suited up in our ponchos, jumped on the boat, aka “The horn blower”, and took an enjoyable stroll through misty falls. Convincing the professors to take us here was a wise decision, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity.

Tomorrow starts my first day of volunteering at Ryerson Athletic Center for the ParaPan Am games. Shift starts at 8:00 am. I have no idea what to expect, but I am SUPER excited to start working and seeing what the games are all about. I’ll be sure to fill you in on all the exciting action once I learn more.

Football (soccer in the U.S) is one the sports being played at the ParaPan Am games. There are two different versions: 7-a-side and 5-a-side. Football 7-a side is played by athletes with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders, including stroke and traumatic brain injury. It is similar to football played by able-bodied athletes, with a few modifications. The game is extremely fast paced and physically demanding with 2 halves that last 30 minutes.

Football 5-a-side is a fast-paced sport for athletes with a visual impairment, and shows off their exceptional ability in dribbling, control and execution of powerful shots.The field of play is smaller than the original football field, with boards on each side. Teams are made up of five players, including the goalkeeper who is the only sighted player on the team.The ball is equipped with a noise-making device to allow players to locate it by sound. The roots of football run deep; although the evolution of the sport for athletes with a visual impairment wasn’t part of the Games until 2004 when it made its debut at the Athens Paralympic Games.

Pretty exciting stuff, EH? I’ve been practicing my Canadian accent if you couldn’t tell! Anyways, another long day ahead so I should probably get some sleep. I’ll be back tomorrow for more exciting news! Goodnight world.

--Alicia Peterson

Ms. Peterson at Niagara Falls

Ms. Alicia Peterson and Ms. Michaela Clay won the bronze medal during rehearsals. Congratulations!

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