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Competitors anticipate Late Night Olympics

Katherine O'Hara | Friday, January 21, 2005

RecSports expects 1,200 students to give their Saturday night to a good cause at Late Night Olympics, an annual sporting event designed to raise money for St. Joseph County’s Special Olympics.

“This is the first time we’ve had it on a Saturday,” said assistant director of RecSports and director of Late Night Olympics Bill Regan said. “We thought students would be stressed out Friday night and looking for something to do on Saturday. There will be lousy weather, but it will be warm and energized in the Joyce Center.”

Events start at 6 p.m. and will continue through early Sunday.

“Students like the marathon nature. They are like, ‘This is nuts. I start at 6 and may not be done until 3,'” Regan said. “It is a real challenge physically.”

Students agreed the competitive nature of the event attracted them.

“This campus really likes their athletics. This is obvious if [we] will give up a Saturday night to go to the JACC,” said sophomore Tony Crafa, who signed up to participate.

Regan urged students who did not sign up to participate to go, observe and support their dorm and sister/brother dorm as they compete against the rest of campus.

“I couldn’t do it last year, but I went and watched and had so much fun,” sophomore Katy Marvin said. “Go see it. It is hysterical. People have no idea what they are doing but they get so into it. So you get into it too.”

While there are familiar favorites such as volleyball and 3-on-3 basketball, some events are not as standard – such as woofleball, Nerf football and inner tube water polo.

“It is amusing competition. When you think of the Olympics, you don’t think of broomball,” sophomore Matt Novak said. Novak also said he plans to go and support his friends.

Last year Late Night Olympics raised $8,000 for Special Olympics. This year, they plan to fundraise through entry fees, a raffle, donations at the door, a $3 open-skate charge and penny wars.

“It is fundamentally a good cause,” sophomore Emmie Calland said. Calland is registered for three events including the obstacle course, which her team won last year.

“And it is one of the only chances you get to compete in sports for one night [with] no commitment,” she said. “You can try hard, but there is no pressure.”

Though students compete for fun, some – like sophomore Joe O’Connell – have other motivation.

“I want to win,” he said.