What happens when sports stars see something fun on TikTok? They make a new sport out of it, and that’s what happened with the first-ever Balloon World Cup that took place in Tarragona, Spain on Thursday.
The 32-team event was organized by FC Barcelona legend Gerard Piqué and Spanish social media celebrity Ibai Llanos. It was held at Portaventura theme park, but the video is just glorious. The competition starts at about the one hour mark here:
Check out your new favorite sport, and congratulations to the new sales of living room knick-knacks and curios as children across the world start destroying the ones in their current homes. We could not be more excited. And the only rules appear to be 1) don’t “hinder” your opponent like in racquetball and squash, and 2) you have to touch the balloon so that it moves upwards instead of down after your contact.
The Americans were represented by Antonio and Diego Arredondo, ages 21 and 18 of Canby, Oregon. They created TikToks of their in-home balloon game and they went viral enough to inspire the Spanish stars to put a full event together — though Diego was eliminated in the first round by Cuban athlete Guzman González.
We’ll be waiting for the next Balloon World Cup or tour or basically anything event. This sport is way fun, and it’s even got some celebrity power: Pique’s longtime girlfriend is global superstar Shakira, who walked the red carpet at the event.
If the internet buzz is any indication, Llanos and Pique appear to be onto something. We’ll be sure to let you know when DraftKings sets odds for the next event.