PanAm Festival – It’s a Wrap!

air time team canada

I am currently sitting at the airport downing a cheeseburger and fries, something I rarely eat at home, breaking all my rules about eating local food. Why? The last few days have been a blur and a burger is just about the right remedy for the conclusion of our epic Mexican adventure.

Where do I start… Friday. Friday was our day off which meant we got to sleep in, catch the 10AM bus to the site and figure out how to get to Xochicalco, the local Archeological Ruins constructed in 700ad. Getting there was a bit of a mission, we were on Mexican time which meant that our cabs didn’t arrive until about 1pm. The bonus was by that time we got to watch Jason McClintock rip some bouys at insane speeds on his slalom ski. As I mentioned before this is my first experience getting to watch the 3 event skiers and I have to say I’m quite impressed ladies and gents!

Back to the pyramids: Team Canada was out of cash from the night before so we needed to grab some on the way. Two stops at local grocery stores in search of ATMS later we were still MIA on cash. Luckily Venezuela had our backs and the cab drivers took US currency so we breezedby, otherwise we may have been stuck somewhere on the outskirts of Cuernavaca sticking out our thumbs.

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The Xochicalco ruins were amazing. The place is situated on top of a mountain overlooking the rolling hills, calm lakes and white top volcano miles away. The ruins made up a small city, with a centralized government (the largest pyramid) surrounded by infrastructure. The coolest part was the atrium inside the pyramid which showed one small beam of light cascading down between the hours of 12pm and 2pm. Apparently it has a strong spiritual meaning, because we came across a couple trying to levitate under the light. Unfortunately most of the info boards were in Spanish so we made the educated decision that it was linked to the Mayan calendar and  praying under the light was a form of offering to the universe. I will have to ask my cousin Jordan, the archeological guru to look it up, regardless it was nifty.

The rest of the evening was mellow, exhausted from the hot day we all packed it in early so we would be on our A-Game for finals in the morning.

LAST DAY! Finals! Pam Am Games is incredibly official. We started our day with a ‘parade’ which consisted of the 5 finalists (USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela) all piling onto the back of the boat waiving like queens to the crowd. Ladies were first which mean I was 4th off the dock. Larisa Morales from Mexico stepped up her game in a huge way in finals really putting the heat on myself and Raimi. I stuck my run up to a back 3 at the end of the course, but overall I was pretty happy with how I rode. I ended up taking 2nd place with very close scores between all three of us. Christian rode just after me and stomped both his passes, but didn’t quite have enough bangers to top Jr Pro tour rider Juan Mendez from Venezula and the all-American Andrew Adkinson. Not to shabby, two podium spots for Team Canada, Pinatas , flowers and candy included!

podium pan am

After the wakeboard portion of the event was over the locals opened up the cable park for the afternoon. It made my day since I’m heading to Bejing in two days and haven’t had a chance to rip a full size cable since Abu Dhabi in October. Once we got in a few laps we joined the rest of the crew in an epic pool party. It included paddleboard headstand and underwater distance competitions and plenty of Cerveca to celebrate.

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Overall the trip was a blast, I got to meet so many amazing people from all over Pan America, picked up a little bit of Spanish and a piece of silver hardware. Stay tuned for next week were I make my way to Bejing!

 

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