Since I realized that the Pan American Games were going to be hosted in Toronto during the summer of 2015, I made an immediate realization that I would have to go, given that opportunities to see sporting events that I’m interested in doesn’t come very often. I resolved to buying tickets online at decent rates, which I imagine was due to the fact that most people coming to Toronto to visit the games would be strapped for cash, coming from less developed countries in many instances. As a result of this I obtained tickets for my first event: badminton.
As a I commuted to the location at the Atos Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre in Unionville (Markham), it took me about an hour and half to get there from my living location. I thought, this is fine, and despite being 5 minutes late I entered into the location. There weren’t crowds of people, and despite being decked out in PanAm colours and signs, it just didn’t feel like I was there apart of something larger.
I sat in the uncomfortable stands and watched a bunch of singles, doubles, and mixed matches. I took some photos to show to my students to motivate them, and then I was on my way after the short 3 hour session. It was a bit underwhelming, but still a cool experience to witness Canadians in a Canadian hosted place, who were passionate and welcoming to their athletes. As I went back home and stopped for pizza I wondered whether or not the rest of the game would be equally as underwhelming to my expectations. After all, the only thing I could compare this to would be the little brother of the Olympics, but so far it didn’t seem to be a little brother; more so an infant baby in terms of size and hype/excitement.
It was an interested experience and a nice way to get integrated in, but going by myself was very underwhelming.