Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hands On Olympics

On 14 July, 2007, the first ever Hands On Gulf Coast Olympics were held at John Henry Beck Park. The entire AmeriCorps program and staff were divided into colored teams and given the challenge of coming up with uniforms and the drive to win.

In the morning, no crews went out while they prepared elaborate costumes of make up, plastic, spray paint, capes, and hair spray. The effects were amazing. We had Tighty Whities (with underwear on their heads), the Blue Surges (including Neptune with a trident), Proceed with Caution (... or was it slippery when wet? either way, they yellow folks wrapped in caution tape), Red or Dead (a bunch of zombies, including a kilt-wearing ghoul), Purple Reign (including Prince), Brown (they were potty humor), Silver (not sure what their theme was), and the Irish Car Bombs (the green team lead by 'McBoon').

The games began prompty at 2pm under cloudy skies, threat of severe thunderstorms, damaging hail, and gusty winds. In my role as 'safety first, party pooper', I had to make the announcement that safety comes first and I might metaphorically rain on the parade if the conditions get really bad. Luckily, my fears proved unfounded. The competitors wanted glory and the weather cooperated.

If I had called off the event, we all would have missed out on the dizzy bat relay, water balloon toss, barn yard buddies, obstacle course, tug of war, three-legged race, water melon eating contest, and the chubby bunny.

Each team shined in their own way. Though poor performers, the Read Or Dead had lots of spirit. Green did well with the water ballon toss. And the Blue team just looked the best with their tattered clothes and wind swept hair.

Alan Petz was the main judge and coordinator of the event, even though the Olympics were the brain child of Caitlin Sherman (yes, the sister of Dan {The Dan on the chore board} and Eddie Sherman {construction manager}) and Tim Boon (family friend of the Shermans). If I can digrees for a second, the Shermans win for family involvement - brothers, sister, and cousin are all here for an extended period of time. That's pretty awesome for us and Biloxi!

Back to the competition, my favorite event was the obstacle course. Folks had to run through tubes, slalom the swings, run around a tree, under the new shade structure, and then slide into home on a slip and slide. By the time we got to this event, it was raining, but not so hard that it made the event a pain or dangerous.

The most disgusting event was chubby bunny. I had never heard of it before, but it consists of stuffing marshmellows in your mouth, one at a time, and saying 'Chubby Bunny'. The person with the most marshmellows in the mouth, who can still understandably say the phrase, wins. By the end, there were gobs of marshmellow dribbling down folks' mouths. The taste must have been gross. Tasia won with 27 marshmellows. Yes, 27. She didn't just win, she egged on the other finalist, Robyn, with 'Go ahead, use two hands.' Robyn struggled to keep the marshmellows in, but Tasia could smack talk. Now that's impressive.

To top it all off, the new NCCC team arrived. Hooray! So, it was a great day with fantastic participation from everyone. Every once in a while, we need to cut loose and have a fun day to ourselves.

Great job Tim Boon and Caitlin Sherman for organizing it. Thanks everyone for the spirit and energy you all put into the games. We'll see you next year at the 2nd Annual Hands On Olympics, Alumni Edition.


zachhazirjian said...

Beautifully written chris

Michelle said...

The Silver team was called the Silver Stampede and we rocked the olympics along with Purple Reign and Holy S@#t!

I agree.... Beautifully written.