Apparently the 2010 Olympics were just a warm-up for the planet’s true ultimate sporting event: the Pokémon World Championships.

Thousands of Pokémon fans from more than 25 countries swarmed Vancouver Convention Centre over the weekend, where more than 500 competitors aged five to 50 went Pokéballs to the wall in attempt to win a coveted gold Pikachu trophy.

It was the 10th anniversary of the championships — which consists of both trading card and video game competitions — and the first time the event was held in Canada.

Rob Novickas of Pokémon Company Intl. said Vancouver was chosen because it is an “international city.”

“Vancouver is a great host for an event like this,” said Novickas.

“We know you guys did a good job for the winter Olympics in 2010 so we figured that you guys could support the Pokémon World Championships.”

Getting an invite to compete in the world championships is no small feat, according to Novickas, who said competitors spend up to a year battling in events across the world before the big event.

“They’re representing their nation, their family and their friends back home,” he said.

This year’s six winners will get a paid invitation to next year’s competition in Washington, D.C., along with a cash scholarship and, of course, a Pikachu trophy.

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