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Keough-Welsh Family win Olympics

Aaron Steiner | Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Keough-Welsh Family team reclaimed its title as reigning Late Night Olympics champions last weekend, bringing its record to seven wins over the past eight years.

Winning five of the 17 events helped the Keough-Welsh Family team edge the competition, said Welsh Family Hall athletic commissioner Stephanie Bendinelli. Last year they lost to the MBA team.

Keough-Welsh Family took first with 2,616 points, followed by the MBA Association team with 1,559 points, and the O’Neill-Lyons team with 1,285 points.

In addition to the dorm rivalry the Olympics encourage, the event also raises money for the St. Joseph County Special Olympics. This year students raised a total of $6,207.

Bill Reagan, RecSports assistant director for instruction, special events and family programming, said teams were charged game fees and students were asked to make donations at the door. Other events – like a penny war and raffle – also helped raise funds.

The penny war – which contributed to the point system used to determine an overall winner – also helped Keough-Welsh Family win, Bendinelli said.

“Keough raised a lot of silver money to put in other team’s jars,” she said. “And, they raised a lot of bills for our jar.”

Keough-Welsh Family walked away with a $600 grand prize this year and the remaining money will go directly to the Special Olympics.

The grand prize is typically taken by the winning team and used to fund events within dorms, but last year the winning MBA donated its prize to the Special Olympics.

Bendinelli said it was “too soon to say” how the prize money would be used.

The RecSports event, now in its 21st year, started at 7 p.m. Friday in the Joyce Center and ended with a broomball match at 3:55 a.m. Saturday, Reagan said.

With over 800 students participating, dorm teams competed in 17 sporting events including kayaking, target golf and 3-on-3 basketball.

Reagan said the numbers this year were “commendable,” especially considering the timing of this past weekend’s event.

“It was certainly more challenging [this year], because we were competing against other activities on campus – the Dierks Bentley concert, the Cavanaugh dance, the ongoing track meet – not to mention the weather,” Reagan said. “The issue [with weather] showed up in part early on, in the way of forfeited games.”

For Reagan, the event was a success, but in planning for next year, organizers will look for ways to update and improve the event after two decades.

These twenty years, he said, are a tribute to Notre Dame students.

“I think they come out [to participate] first for the competition. Some dorm teams take great pride in it,” Reagan said, citing Keough-Welsh Family’s “return to dominance.”

“Second, I think it’s the nature of the Notre Dame student to do something good like this,” he said. “They know they’re raising money for a great cause.”