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Kenyon hosts Winter Olympics (at Bookstore)

Kenyon hosts Winter Olympics (at Bookstore)

Cat Novak ’14 keeps her cool as she bagel curls at the Bookstore Winter Olympiad. The other events were book balancing and a title hunt.

By Phoebe Carter

Last Saturday saw the Kenyon College Bookstore transformed into an Olympic arena, complete with an ever-burning (battery-powered) torch, (miniature) national flags and a (small) crowd of spectators. Six teams comprised of three students each fought for gold in the first-ever Bookstore Olympiad as they competed in a book-balancing relay, tabletop bagel curling and a literary title hunt.

“It seemed like it had been a hard year, so we wanted to do something silly and fun for the students,” Bookstore Manager Jim Huang said. The idea was first sparked by a college bookstore discussion forum post, asking if anyone was doing something to tie in the Winter Olympics.

“The question was posted weeks ago and no one had answered, so we took it as sort of a challenge,” Huang said. “This is the first [Bookstore Olympiad] and, depending on how things go, it might be the only,” Huang said as the games began, but by the end of the hour-and-a-half competition, participants were talking about keeping a record of best times, “for next year.”

Timmy Broderick ’16 holds the record in the book-balancing relay, with a time of 1:09:71 minutes to make it around the Bookstore with three books balanced on his head. He described the event as “the perfect amount of ridiculousness,” and said that, although the Winter Olympics only happen every four years, “this should be an annual thing.”
Apart from eternal fame and glory, teams competed for Bookstore coupons and medals that, if worn into the Bookstore any day this week, would grant them free ice cream, coffee or a bagel. All competitors received a tote bag and a $5 coupon for food.

“This was great,” competitor Jody Frye ’16 said. “This was absolutely marvelous … I’m going to be practicing for next year!”

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