With the opening ceremonies on Friday, Feb. 9, the 2018 Winter Olympics are in full swing in Pyeongchang, South Korea, leaving many students across campus longing for their shot at Olympic gold. The U.S. has already won six medals: three gold, one silver and two bronze. Athletes and spectators alike are missing out on the dazzling spectacles of the Olympic games as they go about their busy lives as students.
Fortunately, Fern Smith Hall is offering a cure for the sadness of missing the Olympics in a new event, affectionately entitled “Fernlympics.” The resident director of Fern Lindsay Hubbell and the resident assistants of Fern have been organizing Northwestern’s take on this year’s Winter Olympics. The event will feature Fernlympians from the eight wings of Fern, each of which has been assigned a color to represent their “country.” Each wing will also design a unique Fernlympic torch to bring with them to the games and show off their wing pride.
“The whole purpose of the Fernlympics is to celebrate the Olympic games, but because most of us will never be in the Olympics, it is just going to be a fun afternoon filled with our ideas of Olympic games,” event organizer senior Alicen Beldin said.
The first event held will be cross country skiing, where Fern girls will race around the Rowenhorst Student Center track on cardboard skis.
Inspired by speed skating, dog-sled racing will be a partner event involving two athletes from each wing. One Fernlympian will pull their partner on a scooter of some sort in a race around the track.
The polar plunge event will feature Fernlympians with the greatest pain tolerance as they plunge their arms into ice cold water buckets. The goal is to outlast the other wings.
The fourth event is igloo building, a timed event which requires each wing to construct an igloo out of marshmallows and toothpicks in under four minutes. The goal is to replicate an igloo that has already been constructed.
The last event is ribbon dancing, Fern’s take on figure skating. Each participant will draw three random dance moves before performing an original dance incorporating ribbons and their three assigned dance moves.
The creativity, endurance, strength, precision and team spirit of Fern will be challenged this week through the five events Hubbell and the RAs have organized. It will be an event designed to awe and inspire spectators who have Olympic dreams of their own.
At the end of the afternoon, a small medal ceremony will take place, commemorating the wings who attain gold, silver and bronze. Each wing who takes home a medal will also take home a prize which the event organizers will not reveal until the ceremony.
Only students who live in Fern are permitted to compete, but Beldin has a solution for those who do not.
“We want people there cheering groups on because it will be more fun,” Beldin said. “I hope people would come and get to enjoy our little version of the Olympics.”
The first-ever Fernlympics will be taking place at 3p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18 in the Rowenhorst Student Center 4-court area. Students who are not Fern residents or are not participating are encouraged to come enjoy the event and cheer on their favorite teams as the eight wings compete for gold.