Greeks bring high-energy to Greek Olympics
More than 1,500 members of the Greek community overwhelmed McGuirk Arena with energy on Tuesday, April 4, as they supported their teams at the Greek Olympics.
In the traditional Greek Week event, 11 teams participated in elimination-style games, relays and challenges in a competition with a prize of adding 100 points to toward their total Greek Week score.
"It's not just about competing," said Muskegon senior Erin Sayles, a member of Phi Mu.
She said while competition is fun, philanthropy is the reason everyone comes together.
Sayles said it was wonderful to see so many people, dressed in spirit representing their Greek organizations, show support for the “two great causes” Greek Week is driven by this year: the Kristy Malter Memorial Fund and the Isabella County Child Advocacy Center.
In preparation for the games, athletes spent 30 minutes practicing; throwing rubber ducks into laundry baskets, hurling foam pool noodles through hula hoops and locking chins with teammates while attempting to use their linked faces to transfer a tennis ball.
"You can literally feel the sweat coming off (athletes) foreheads," said Grand Rapids sophomore Jade Marfia, also a member of Phi Mu.
Marfia said she feels an especially strong community connection in this year’s Greek Week, which is why she was excited to cheer for her team in the games.
Greek Week Chairperson Emily Shevnock welcomed the crowd and explained the guidelines and rules pertaining to the competitions. At 6 p.m., athletes took to the court to compete.
The games begin
Two teams competed at a time in relays, to kick-off the Greek Olympic activities. All teams were timed and ordered accordingly to determine who would move on to the following event.
The first relay task involved a sack-hop across the court. After the first teammate hopped across, they’d traded off the bag to another member.
Athletes sprinted during the second lap with a tennis ball tucked under their chins. When they reached their partner at the end of the track, they used their chins to transfer the ball to each other. The final relay challenge involved Greek members attempting to throw rubber ducks into laundry baskets.
The two slowest teams were eliminated from the Olympics and nine continued onto the Javelin Toss, where athletes competed in pairs to toss a pool noodle through a hula hoop successfully three times.
Five teams moved on to the semi-finals, to determine which teams would partake in the final challenge.
The remaining five teams were split into two groups to contend in a game of Lightning, a basketball related elimination game. Each group merged into a line and surged into the match.
Two teams emerged as the final competitors; the Delta Phi Epsilon and Phi Sigma Phi team, and Sigma Phi and Alpha Chi Omega.
The final Greek Olympics challenge was a “hula hoop chain” race. All 12 athletes from each team were instructed to face each other, link arms and pass a hula hoop across each member’s body.
Delta Phi Epsilon and Phi Sigma Phi finished the challenge before first. They celebrated their first win with members of their organizations, who attended the games for support.
Sault Ste. Marie freshman Jordan Menard, a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, was surprised by her teams success, and said “we did better than we all expected.”
Delta Phi Epsilon and Phi Sigma Phi left the Greek Olympics planning to celebrate by "dancing," Menard said. She said they were practicing for Mock Rock, Greek Week’s anticipated grand finale, which will take place at 6 p.m. Friday at McGuirk Arena.