I’m going to travel the world for 12 months to watch my favourite sporting events in fascinating locations among some of the world’s most passionate fans. I’ll visit stunning locations which are synonymous with sporting contests that provoke unrivalled atmosphere and lifelong memories.
I will have spent nine months on the road by this stage and will have collected life-long memories and a ton of frequent flyer points.
How will I spend the final three months of the journey?
My two-wheel jaunt continues with a leg of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup, hopefully in Belgium or the Netherlands. The people of the Lowlands are the masters of one of the most rugged, punishing, gut-wrenching sports on the planet, navigating Cross-Country courses on a modified road bike.
While I’m there, I might ask them, why don’t you just ride a Mountain Bike?
After watching some of the world’s greatest athletes in some of the world’s most spectacular locations, maybe it’s time I actually did some exercise myself. Maybe I should linger longer in one of these stunning locations and do some biking, hiking, swimming…
I might even strap on a pair of Cross Country skis again – if I have successfully mastered the sport that I will have tried for the first time at the beginning of this trip.
I’ll make sure I vacate the tracks before the world’s best Biathletes begin their battle for World Cup glory – these guys carry guns.
I admire the endurance and skill of Biathletes and their ability to focus on a tiny target after busting their lungs on a punishing Cross-Country course. I have also recently converted to this sport after seeing how quickly the lead can change with just one missed shot. Gruelling and gripping.
I’ll fly back to Australia via Hawaii and Thailand.
In Hawaii, I’ll head to Point Panic to watch, and maybe join, pure surfers at one of the world’s most famous bodysurfing locations. I might share the waves with Mark Cunningham or Bethany Hamilton (one can only dream).
I’ll pass by Thailand to watch The King’s Cup, an international SepakTakraw tournament.
It could be called foot volleyball, because players kick a ball over a net and attempt to score points the same way volleyball players would, but it’s more accurately described as a mixture of acrobatics, football and gymnastics. Players turn full somersaults in order to raise their foot over the top of the net so that they can slam a rattan ball into the opposing team’s court, before landing on their hands and springing back up to defend.
The King’s Cup is a rare international tournament featuring the world’s best nations, who are predominantly from South East Asia. Thailand is also the dominant nation across the men’s and women’s game.
What’s more, it’s Thailand; great beaches, friendly people, great food.
One caveat. The King’s Cup could be held in December, or it could be held in August, or September…
I’ll finally arrive back home in time to witness more great bodysurfing, at a leg of the Australian Ironman Surf Life Saving competition.
This is another quintessentially Australian sport which includes surf kayaks, surf rescue boards, running and swimming. It started as a competition to sharpen the skills of lifesavers patrolling Australia’s beaches and has become a professional sport.
My primary reason for watching the event is to witness the bodysurfing. During the swim leg, the lifesavers catch waves, big, small or medium, using nothing but their swimming and surfing skills. No handsurfers, no fins on their feet. Just head down, body straight and kick….
Lifesavers can pick up any swell and surf it all the way to the sand.
It’s now time to watch the sun set over the ocean and soak in 12 months worth of amazing experiences and fantastic memories.
It also leaves just a few questions to be answered, before I set off on this epic adventure.
How will I offset all of the carbon I produced through traversing the world in planes, trains and automobiles…?
And, finally, who’s going to pay for all of this?
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