BY: CATHERINE TROLL
What do you get when you combine the Franciscan households with competition, teamwork, face paint and insanely difficult yet hilarious challenges all on a Saturday afternoon? That’s right—the Household Olympics, which have taken place on the campus’ intramural fields for over two decades and returned on Saturday, September 1st, 2012.
The Household Olympics is an epic clash during which household teams compete during Opening Weekend—the first weekend of the fall semester. Participation in the games is not exclusively for household members, however.
“Last year we had a record number of participants: about 850,” said Fr. Gregory Plow, TOR, coordinator of Households. “It is great for the households and also a wonderful way for new students to become familiar with a household in a fun atmosphere. Anyone can join a team. You don’t have to be a member of a household to compete. In fact, two years ago, a group of freshmen won who were not associated with a household. Then, later that year they began the process of forming their own household.”
The events of Household Olympics are diverse and do not exactly match the events of the regular Olympic games. In addition to the inflated obstacle course, the Olympic competitions included Nerf gun precision targeting, 11-leg races, water balloon battles, bungee running, wheelbarrow races, crab-walk soccer, tug-of-war, beanbag toss, various relay races, archery, Frisbee toss and “cow milking” with water and a wooden cow cutout. Though the events varied in levels of difficulty, they all shared the elements of good-natured competition, fellowship and fun.
All students who were not members of households were encouraged to find a household team throughout the first week, and join the games on Saturday.
“This was a really cool way to get to know some of the guys in the household,” said Ian Gill, a freshman who played with the Brothers of the Eternal Song household. “They made me feel welcome and included me as if I were a Brother.”
“You grow in brotherhood/sisterhood with the people you play with so it is a definite impact, indeed,” said Phillip Buss, a member of team Soldiers Easy Company.
Ryan Perkins agreed.
“I definitely am going to consider my team as a household,” said Perkins. “I got to know some great guys.”
Another freshman, Steve Pass, added that the Olympics “showed how well we collaborated together as a team.”
Participant Rachel Meixner also experienced friendly competition and sisterhood with her team.
“I had fun participating with Fiat Sanctae Familiae (household),” she said. “And the team spirit among the households was awesome to witness. Also, I survived the Bungee Challenge–even though I’m short and small.”
The Household Olympics was definitely a success for all involved, especially _____ and _____, this year’s men’s and women’s winners.