A Stomach Virus Opened the Doors for Handball Superstar, Lyndon Suvanto, to Understand the Global Power of Sport
Canadian Handball player Lyndon Suvanto's career began because of a stomach virus. He grabbed his chances with both hands and has travelled all over the world playing for numerous clubs in different cities. These experiences helped him appreciate the power of sport and following dreams, something he supports through 'Lyndon Lives Life'. Find out why he thinks it is important to meet locals while travelling & how the AFL blew him away.
The People You can Meet: Lyndon's Story
Handball has changed my life, and the way my first major opportunity arrived was due to a stomach virus. Not to me, but to the goalkeeper of my brother’s high school team. Had he never fallen ill, my life would more than likely have been wildly different. So, the goalkeeper was too sick to play and the team needed a replacement. After several failed attempts, they said “Hey just throw Lyndon in net”. I happened to play well and within 3 weeks of stepping in goal for the first time, I was off to a tournament in Brazil! And the rest is history.
I love so many different aspects of this sport. It’s fast-paced, physical and explosive yet at the same time there is immense planning and strategy. The handball world is also a small one. While playing across the world, I have made friend all across the globe. And if I met some new player, odds are that we have a mutual acquaintance. It is a tight community and the players of all levels are very approachable.
How has sport help you to discover the world?
Oh, this sport has given me more experiences than I could ever imagine. I have played either in tournaments or with clubs in 20 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Oceania. I lived a year and a half in Denmark, and 2 years in Poitiers, France with a club team. I have also played with Team Canada as a junior and senior, most recently finishing a tournament in Greenland.
Do you believe sports breaks boundaries?
If so, how?
100%! I believe sports has a way of connecting people of all ages, lifestyles and genders. When we play or watch sports together, our personal differences are put aside and for a moment we become members of the same team. Language is another boundary that sports breaks down. Sports has its own language, it is abundantly clear when players from across the world come together, they let the game do the talking.
Have you ever gone to see sports while travelling? What’s your favourite memory of this?
Absolutely! I love seeing sports while abroad. I feel like it really helps me incorporate into the local feeling, as well as some country’s sporting experiences are completely different than the next. My favourite memory would have to be Korean Baseball. The atmosphere is insane! All the specatators know several songs for each batter before they are about to bat. Each team has huge dance troupes and a ring leader that keeps the energy going for the entire game. Seriously, such a fantastic moment.
How important is it to meet locals while travelling?
I love meeting locals while travelling. For me, meeting locals connects you the city or country way more than just going about it by yourself. I love learning, and through meeting locals, even briefly, you learn those fun little stories you can’t find online or at touristic sights.
Tell us about your first SportsHosts experience?
My first SportsHosts was at an AFL game in Melbourne and honestly it was amazing. I had no knowledge of the sport and honestly sitting there without a host, I would just be there clueless. I learnt the rules and as well I learned a bit about Australian culture. The pride people take in being a club season ticket member, and how you are basically born into “Your Team” and that’s your team and defend them no matter what! Truly a great experience.
What does showing off your sport or your team mean to you?
I am super proud of my sport and my team. Handball is a relatively unknown sport in Canada and Australia as well, and when I introduce people to the sport, they adore it. I feel like I am really able to show a side of who I am through handball.
Tell us more about 'Lyndon Lives Life’ - how it started, what is your mission and what do you hope it does for other people
Lyndon Lives Life has become very important to me. I want to use the platforms available on social media to help encourage people to follow their dreams and try to live the life they want. I know too many people that say they “wish they tried this” or “What if I did this instead”. I want to share my story and the stories of others who chased or are currently chasing their dreams and have never looked back. As well as trying to help people become more positive and honestly, to be happy. We all get to these stages in our lives where we feel lost or feel like giving up, but I want to encourage people to talk about their feelings, especially in young athletes who feel that they are unable to express themselves. We have all been there, honestly, there is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed.
Follow @LyndonLivesLife on Instagram to keep up with his latest globe-trotting, sporting adventures!
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