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Toronto Open 2002

Viking CupPlatform fever is spreading, do you have it? Players in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, have had the fever to play Platform Tennis as the Toronto Open went down in the history books November 9th & 10th of last week.

If you would like to read the full article, click here to read it. Perhaps a full bracketing will be posted in the next week, like the Chicago Charities.

The early morning sun had just come up over the horizon, with its golden beams radiating through the trees. The sky was blue with a wisp of cloud and the air was filled with the crisp, refreshing coldness of autumn. Leaves crunched under foot and breath fogged in the air. The courts, nestled amongst the trees stood silent giving no hint of the activity and contests that would be fought this day.

A few moments later the morning silence was broken by the sound of hurried footsteps and chattering voices as a host of combatants arrive in full battle gear, gloves, jackets, sweats, braces, and carrying in hand their weapon of choice, the paddle. The draw was posted and the players huddle around to see who the competition would be for their first match. It was time to enter the arena and play some paddle.

The Toronto Open, was held on Saturday and Sunday Nov. 9th & 10th with 66 men and women. There were 16 women’s teams and 17 men’s teams that battled for the coveted Gold Medal. Players from Toronto’s Kingsway and Badminton and Racquet Club were joined by players from, Rochester, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Fonthill, London and Waterloo. Although there were many challengers for the top prize only one would be victorious.

This tournament saw the return of the women’s compass draw. The philosophy of which is that all players reach a final match ending with an opponent of similar skill level thus ensuring a great game.

As the event unfolded there was the look of disappointment in a loss, frustration in a missed opportunity but also there was excitement in making a good drive and of course triumph in victory.

Websters dictionary defines “Excellence” as going beyond the ordinary, to be superior in quality, skill and achievement, someone who is unsurpassed. The four teams which reached the Women’s and Men’s Finals clearly have achieved excellence in the game. Spectators watched as time after time the players made a great shot and then an equally great return. At times it seemed as if the point would never end, back and forth ..... back and forth.....How many hits was that???

The women’s final match came down to a duel between Pittsburgh’s Holly Peck / Karen Henkie and Rochesters Judy Kreiger / Bev Dyminski with Holly and Karen taking the close fought match. The men’s final match saw Rob Hutchison / Peter Ryan take on the team of Mike Stulac / Jimmy Shapiro. Despite the efforts of Rob and Peter to unseat the perennial winner the Mike and Jimmy team prevailed.

Winning is a consequence of competition. However, more important than winning is participation. And on this day there were only winners. Success is measured by the effort you put into the game, not by the score. Success is making a difficult return, a dig out of the corner that you have never been able to make before, or simply being acknowledged for making a great shot. Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is in the doing, not the getting – in the trying, not the triumph – reaching for the highest that is in us – becoming all that we can be. If we do our best we are a success. Success is in each and every player….we just have to find it.

Great paddle everyone!!!

Article written by:
Dan Dupak
Main: Mike Stulac/Jimmy Shapiro def Peter Ryan/Rob Hutchison
Main Reprieve: Andrew Daw/Fritz Odenbach def Craig Welsh/Buck Schottland
Consolation: Geoff Bamford/Derek Thomas def John Vail/Mike Cameron
Last Chance: Dan Dupak/John Waldie def. Adam & Ted Lis
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