Late Night Olympics makes its debut this weekend

Late night

Destiny Pinder-Buckley


New Late Night coming to the Elmen Center

Forget Pyeongchang in winter 2018 — the Olympics are coming to Augustana Saturday.

The new Late Night Olymipics event will commence at the Elmen Center 10 p.m. Saturday. There will be several modified Olympic sporting events, a variety of food and a final ceremony to crown the winning “country” or team.

“We are trying to do unique games,” said Chad Barman, assistant director of recreation. “The goal is to do Olympics-style events that aren’t offered usually [at Augustana].”

One of the new, unusual games being presented is human bowling, where one person sits on a scooter and another person “rolls” or pushes the first person down the lane to knock over pins.

Other activities include bobsledding, curling, Hula hoop ball toss, sack long jump, balcony frisbee, hungry hungry hippos, archery, balloon ping pong, floor hockey, a relay race, a paper airplane throwing contest and fencing.

“I think the games themselves sound hysterical, and I really hope I can see a little bit of all of them in action,” freshman Lizzie Hansen said.

Depending on the weather, there may be outdoor events as well.

“It’s sort of a mixture of the Gladiator and Carnival Late Night events,” senior Conner Kaiser, leader of the Elmen intramural recruiting team, said. “There is a team aspect and also an individual part.”

Students will have the option to form a team with their friends or come individually and be added to a team. Each team will be assigned a country, and all participants will receive a miniature flag of their team’s country.

A few of the possible countries are: Canada, Vietnam, China, Honduras, Peru, Zimbabwe and France.

Students will then compete in the events to win points for their countries. The countries with the most points at the end will earn prizes.

Mark Hecht, director of recreation, said the planning process began as early as April 2016. The entire staff gets together during the end of the spring semester and proposes ideas for the upcoming year.

The hard work and leadership behind every Late Night event pays off. Last year, Late Night activities averaged 217 students per event.

“We get to see a variety of people,” Hecht said. “We don’t just see ‘sports’ people.”

This is the first new Late Night event offered since the 2013-14 school year. However, the Olympics is not the only new event. The week before finals, the Elmen will host a block party.

To make room on the schedule for the two new events, the Elmen staff decided to replace the second bowling and laser tag events since they were already offered earlier in the year.

“It’s very evident that Late Nights are important to campus because they provide an outlet for students to hang out. Some students intentionally plan their weekends around the events,” Barman said.

Hecht agrees.

“Late Nights provide a healthy place to be on a Saturday night and they’re fun.”

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