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5 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Sports to Try

May 12, 2016 by HealthyFamiliesBC

Summer olympic and paralympic sports to try this summer

With the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio nearing, I can’t pass up the opportunity to highlight some sports you might not have tried before and athletes to watch for. Get inspired and try your hand at:

Field Hockey

  • What is it: When Canadians hear the word hockey, our first instinct is to think ice hockey. But the sport of field hockey, which is played on turf with a ball, is huge especially in commonwealth countries.
  • Which BC Athlete to follow: David Carter of Vancouver is not a guy you can get by – if you’re a ball that is! He’ll be goaltending for Canada in Rio.

Track Cycling

  • What is it: Ever consider riding your bike at speeds in excess of 60 km/h, inches away from your competition and with no brakes? Track cycling is not for the faint of heart.
  • Which BC Athlete to follow: Jasmin Glaesser of Vancouver has been on international podiums in track and road cycling, while Tristen Chernove of Cranbrook is a recent double World Champion on the track for paracyling. Keep an eye on them (if you can keep up!).

Water Polo

  • What is it: With seven players per team, both teams pass a ball with the intention of scoring in their opponents net. Treading water while passing and catching the ball at high speeds is remarkable.
  • Which BC Athlete to follow: Jacqueline Kohli of Burnaby started playing at age 7 and has been racking up titles across North America ever since.

Table Tennis

  • What is it: This is not your uncles ping pong table! This fast paced sport requires bullet speed reflexes, hand eye coordination of a surgeon, and the stamina of a work horse.
  • Which BC Athlete to follow: Mo Zhang of Chilliwack is one of Canada’s best players and has been playing since 6 years of age. While Chim-Hing (Stephanie) Chan of Richmond picked up table tennis at 44 and quickly established herself (including a gold at the Toronto Pan-Am) as a champion para-table tennis player.


  • What it is: From backstroke to butterfly, men and women race against each other at great speeds and varying distances with winners determined by fractions of a second.
  • Which BC Athlete to follow: Victoria’s Ryan Cochrane has been swimming since age 4 and earned a bronze and silver in two consecutive Olympics. He is one of Canada’s best hope for a podium finish in Rio. Jonathan Dieleman of Quick BC didn’t let a dirt bike accident stop his athletic lifestyle. Armed with a Pan-Am medal and a Canadian record he’s keen to push onto the Paralympics in Rio.

After all this research and writing, I am now thinking of setting up a table tennis station at home.

Which of these five sports will you try this summer?

Related blogs

Being Inspired By the Olympics and Paralympics
The Canada Winter Games: Motivation to Get Active

Recommended resources

Canadian Olympic Team: Official Website
2016 Summer Olympics: Rio de Janiero



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