The Balloon World Cup Looks Hilariously Intense
A new Olympic sport has surely just presented itself: say hello to the Balloon World Cup.
I’m almost convinced that any human who’s ever held a balloon has played a very simple game with oneself: tapping the balloon into the air and trying to prevent it from touching the ground. Whether you’re outside, walking around your living room or even sitting on the couch, you treat the fate of the balloon with the utmost effort.
Barcelona player Gerard Pique saw the potential for something bigger. So, alongside Ibai Llanos, he helped organise the inaugural Balloon World Cup, pitting competitors from all across the world against each other in the ultimate battle of wills.
Coming after several viral videos from the Keep-Up Balloon League on social media, the concept is simple: two people go head-to-head in an arena setting to keep a balloon from touching the ground.
They have to contend with living room furniture and a small car as they run, leap and tumble around the official 8×8-metre court in a bid to keep the balloon in the air. They have to hit it upwards, of course, so you can’t just slam it to the ground.
Footage shared to Twitter by The Sportsman is genuinely incredible, with the commentators losing their minds over the two athletes’ crafty tactics.
Peru’s Francesco De La Cruz emerged as the tournament’s first champion after beating German Jan Spiess 6-2 in the final. ‘I am very, very happy, I thank God that I have been able to achieve this,’ the teenager said, as per Reuters.
Antonio and Diego Arredondo, whose videos were considered a major inspiration for the competition, said, ‘We played the game as kids, and then, during the start of quarantine for COVID, we wanted to play it again.
‘We started arguing with each other over if it hit the ground or not, so we started taking videos in slow-mo to see if it did, and then finally it got to the point of lets post this video of us on TikTok.’
Pique said, ‘It’s been amazing, it’s something totally different, sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.’
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