Filed under “leads I never thought I’d write”: A pair of Canby brothers is headed to Barcelona, Spain, next month to participate in a “Balloon World Cup” hosted by an international soccer star and Twitch streamer and inspired by their own viral TikTok videos.
Feel free to re-read that sentence as many times as you need to.
Gerard Piqué, a Spanish professional soccer player for FC Barcelona, and streamer and esports commentator Ibai Llanos announced Monday that they will host a World Cup-style international tournament based around the “balloon game,” a “sport” in which players taking turns tapping a balloon so it doesn’t fall to the ground. The tournament is said to include 16 countries.
What you might not know is that this was all inspired by a trio of Canby siblings — Antonio, Diego and Isabel Arredondo — and their viral TikTok and Instagram videos that have attracted millions of views and been covered by the likes of Newsweek and SportsCenter.
They have also, evidently, captured the attention of global superstar athletes and Spanish internet personalities.
Ibai on Twitter: “Vamos a organizar el primer mundial de globos. Creo que puede estar muy guapo. @BalloonWorldCup pic.twitter.com/rJvIxwSfs6 / Twitter”
Vamos a organizar el primer mundial de globos. Creo que puede estar muy guapo. @BalloonWorldCup pic.twitter.com/rJvIxwSfs6
Antonio Arredondo, a senior at George Fox University who also serves as sports writer for The Canby Current, confirmed the siblings have been invited to Barcelona to participate in the inaugural tournament (representing the United States) and to be honored as the founders of the international “Balloon League.”
“I couldn’t even describe how I feel,” Antonio said. “It’s like one of my friends told me when he found out, ‘Antonio, I have no idea how hitting a balloon is going to get you a trip to Barcelona.’ It doesn’t strike me as real.”
But it is. Diego, a former Canby High School basketball star and freshman at Linfield College, is also planning to participate in the tournament in mid-October, as is their father, businessman Sabino Arredondo of the local accounting firm Wilcox Arredondo & Co.
Isabel, a junior at Canby High and member of the volleyball team, is undecided.
The Balloon World Cup is planned for Oct. 14 with the matches livestreamed on social media. Antonio has also promised to send us some videos and other updates from their adventure. For more information, follow the Balloon World Cup on Twitter.
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