Katie's Experience at the PanAm Games

The Olympics isn’t the only event which brings unification and comradery to foreign peoples. This summer Toronto hosted the PanAm Games where over 30 countries came together to compete. I, Katie Tsuyuki, was able to attend a couple of events in my home city to help celebrate the Games.

Katie Tsuyuki and her Nieces with the PanAm mascot Pachi 

Katie Tsuyuki and her Nieces with the PanAm mascot Pachi 

My brother, David Tsuyuki, was the technical director to the wakeboarding event.  I was able to attend the three event waterskiing and wakeboarding finals. I always find it amusing to see what other athletes are like on contest day. The three event athletes are one of a kind.

They compete in slalom, trick ski and jump. Each event is intense, exciting and drastically different. Canada’s own Whitney McClintock cleaned up in the women’s three event to become the most decorated water-skier in PanAm history with two golds, two silvers, one of the golds was for best overall skiier.  

The men’s wakeboarding event is always entertaining with its spinning and flipping, just like how halfpipe is entertaining. Again it was a Canada taking home the gold with Rusty Malinoski’s stellar run. It was awesome seeing his whole family there to cheer him on.

Rusty Malinoski and his medal ceremony boat style

Rusty Malinoski and his medal ceremony boat style

The next day all Olympians of any Games were invited to a cocktail hour at the Canada House. It was dedicated to bringing together all the Olympic Alumni; I was excited to visit the house as I heard so many great things about it.  

I had the pleasure of meeting Eleanor McKenzie, who was the fastest Canadian woman from 1949 to 1953, winning the 100M and 200M races at all the Canadian championships and she attended the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games where her relay team placed 7th. It was an honor to hear her stories and see another example of how sport can keep a spirit young and healthy.

Eleanor McKenzie, who was the fastest Canadian woman from 1949 to 1953, winning the 100M and 200M races at all the Canadian championships and she attended the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games

Eleanor McKenzie, who was the fastest Canadian woman from 1949 to 1953, winning the 100M and 200M races at all the Canadian championships and she attended the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games

The whole evening was lovely with meeting new contacts and learning about how we can support our summer athletes going into Rio 2016. It’s exciting that another Olympics is just around the corner with a whole slew of new heroes getting ready to entertain the world on the global stage.