TEAM: Courtney Borton leads the green team to victory. Photo by SAB

Olympiad — some say it’s the best weekend of the year on campus.

Students have the opportunity to compete head-to-head against other students in athletic, intellectual and artistic games and challenges.

This year, the teams were the Pink Panthers, Silver Duct Tape, The Luck of the Irish and Pirates of the Cari-blue-an.

Opening ceremonies kicked off the start of Olympiad on Thursday, October 27 in the field house.

The teams presented their flags in the form of a short skit for a panel of judges.

The Luck of the Irish — the green team — took first place in the flag presentation.

Their presentation included a dramatic reading of the history of the Irish potato famine by Jonathan Krull, professor of philosophy, the crowning of the “gingers” as the queens and kings of Olympiad and a chase scene involving a pot of gold, a rainbow and the entirety of the team.

Courtney Borton, senior and green team captain, said she tried to encourage her teammates to have fun and get excited by leading by example.

“People are a lot more willing to go crazy when they see someone else going crazy,” Borton said. “When they see this huge pot of gold running around the plex, there’s no way you can look dumber than that.”

Borton said her favorite aspect of Olympiad is how invested and boisterous people become in the different events.

“Olympiad is the one thing during the year [everyone] can just go crazy with,” she said. “Homework doesn’t matter!”

Borton said one of her professors even cancelled her night class and made an exam a take home so those students could attend the opening ceremonies.

One event that gets people excited is synchronized swimming.

The Pink Panthers took home first place in this event and were choreographed by senior Logan Presnell.

Junior pink team member Rachel Platt said she liked the content and choreography of her team’s performance.

“After I watched it, I was like, ‘They nailed it!'” Platt said.  “I could tell we were gonna win.”

She said she wishes synchro teams would have more time to practice instead of just the week before the performance.

“More time at night to go practice would help with student scheduling,”she said.

She said the early morning practices could be a reason why some students choose not to do synchro.

“Nobody wants to go to the YMCA at 5 a.m. and practice,” she said.

In addition to synchro, the a cappella competition is also a favorite event among students.

The blue team came in 4th, followed by the silver team at 3rd, the pink team at 2nd, and the green team with a first place victory.

This event is known for being one of the most time-consuming events in terms of practicing.

Libni Garcia, sophomore member of the silver team, said her a capella team practiced each night from around 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The late nights were worth it, Garcia said, because it brought her closer to her teammates.

“It was fun getting to know each and every one of them, especially those [who] were from other halls,” Garcia said.

The Student Activities Board (SAB) incorporates traditional events such as synchro and a capella each year, but this year, they added a few new events — some of which were pumpkin carving, airband and Just Dance.

Claire Bowles, junior SAB member, said SAB took responses to previous events at Olympiad into consideration while planning for this year.

“As a team, we decided it was time to make some changes and felt like students would like to see new events,” Bowles said. “They went well, so hopefully they’ll be here to stay for years to come!”

The blue team took first place in pumpkin carving, one of these new events.

Kaleb Peters, senior blue team member, said his favorite thing about Olympiad is how it unifies students.

“As multiple floors, we can come together on a team and use our multiple gifts and talents on different days,” Peters said.

Even though Olympiad brings people together as teammates, Peters said there are moments when students can become divided.

He said this can be avoided if students’ heads are in the “right place.”

“[If] you have a good spirit, heart and attitude about the games,” Peters said, “I think [they] will bring people together.”

Olympiad concluded Sunday night with a “mystery event,” fear factor, and the closing ceremonies.

The blue team came in fourth place, the pink team in third, followed by the silver team in second.

Green was the winning team for Olympiad XXIII.

“It feels like the ‘Olympiad journey’ came full circle,” senior green team member CM Melin said. “I won first my freshman year, and now my senior year. It was a great feeling for my last Olympiad ever.”