5 Thoughts I had at the Parapan Am Games Closing Ceremony

18 August 2015 / by Judd Buchanan (author)
Toronto's Parapan Am Games wrapped up on August 15. (photo: Creative Commons, Harvey K via Flickr)
Toronto's Parapan Am Games wrapped up on August 15. / (photo: Creative Commons, Harvey K via Flickr)
CJRU reporter Judd Buchanan shares his thoughts on the Parapan Am Games Closing Ceremonies, which wrapped up Toronto's Pan Am Games after more than a month of festivities.  

1) The sound and presentation were very well done
I cannot tell you how many concerts and events I have gone to where my vision was obscured or the sound was awful. Everything was crystal clear. Other members of the audience mentioned how good the screens looked, and there were no issue with wind noise or acoustic for the music. Given all the variables, (it was outdoors, it was free, there are all kinds of hard concrete structures for the sound to bounce off of) that was a feat in itself, and helped make this a great evening to close the games with.
2) Wyclef Jean played House of Pain's "Jump Around" and no one jumped
 Come on people, it really couldn't be simpler, the song makes it clear that EVERYBODY is supposed to jump. *Shakes head.* 
3) In an all ages environment how did the following lyrics make it in?
"I'll serve your *** like John McEnroe...
...If your girl steps up, I'm smacking the ***"
Woah, woah. I thought for sure this would have been edited out. In the trailer for Strait Outta Compton trailer that Youtube won't stop showing me for some reason, they do the DJ record scratch to censor the explicit lyrics. Not here apparently.
4) Wyclef Jean embraced the multi-national nature of the event
He rapped in French and Spanish and finished his set with a song he co-wrote with Colombian singer Shakira. 
5) The most memorable moments (in my view) were of the athletes
At the end of it, the images that will stay in my mind with the most profound of impacts were those of the athletes.  The video package that played showing highlights from the games was truly remarkable. That is what it really is all about to me. I can't hit a bullseye with a bow and arrow, and here were people who do so with one arm and a foot. Most people did not have the opportunity to witness every single sport so this video package allowed everyone got to see highlights from every sport and appreciate the skill involved.
Too often, I believe people look at disabilities as a perfunctory summons of charitable spirit. The perception being that the qualification for success needs to be "adjusted" to ensure accomplishment. The nets were regulation height in wheelchair basketball, the pools were Olympic length, and the athletes were remarkable in every event. It all reinforced the reason why these games need to be covered. It is not just competition, the Parapan Am Games are inspirational and life-changing, for those who compete and those who witness them.

The author

Judd Buchanan

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