With plenty of snow in Chicago, the winter Olympics Games didn’t only take place in Sochi, Russia. Our Residents held their own version of the competitions in St. Mary’s “Olympic Village,” complete with opening and closing ceremonies. The outstanding international and diverse talent competed in two teams for two events that only required athletes to bring gloves and a hat.
Since these sports were held indoors, some adaptations were made. Our hockey (shuffleboard) teams challenged each other to see who could score more goals with a puck made out of ice. Each athlete had three tries to score and won points accordingly. After everyone was loosened up from hockey, the athletes moved to the starting gate for “freestyle skiing” (ski ball) using real snow balls.
All the athletes agreed that competition was fierce throughout the Games. Our employees did not want to miss out on a chance to become Olympians and joined in.
Mindy Rivera from the laundry department won gold in hockey and Resident Martha B. took gold for freestyle skiing. The Star Spangled Banner was sung with gusto. Silver medals went to Resident Mary H. and Volunteer Coordinator Rose Daly. We congratulated our winning athletes but were reminded by an address from the 1908 London Games that “the most important thing is not to win but to take part.” No one went home empty-handed. Non-medalists received a snack bar for their participation.
St. Mary’s Olympics concluded with a light repast of snowman cookies and hot chocolate. Our medalists are waiting to be contacted by General Mills to find out when their faces will appear on a box of Wheaties or Cheerios.
Kudos to our activity staff for braving the wind and cold to retrieve real snow for the pucks, etc. The next day the big chill turned into a big thaw. Had they waited one more day – puddle jumping may have been one of the events!