Burden auditorium was buzzing just after class on Tuesday, April 13 as the RCs geared up for a day of Section Olympic contests. Though Section B would eventually take home the gold, it certainly didn’t look that way at the start.
Despite a very intimidating showcase video featuring a shirtless Tom Selleck, Section B, represented by Anson Frericks and Alyssa Fernandez-Isla, stumbled out of the gate during the opening twinkie-eating contest. Due to an unfortunate miscommunication, Alyssa thought she was supposed to unwrap, rather than actually eat, as many twinkies as possible. While Section B unwrapped an impressive 37 twinkies, they only actually ate 9.
Down but not out, Section B made its way to the dodgeball court for a face-off with Section D. Though B found some initial momentum in the opening throws, the tide quickly
turned against them as their star performers, Mike Lage and Chad Hufsey, were knocked out. Before B knew it, it had only one person left to face the remaining eight players from Section D. For well over a minute, Clarissa Quintanilla ducked, weaved and dodged as D’ers hurled ball after ball. Then, just as the game was about to time out, Clarissa caught one of the throws, bringing Chad back into the game. Chad brought Mike back into the game shortly afterwards with another catch, and just before the buzzer the dynamic duo was able to knock out every remaining D’er on the court. The celebration erupted and Clarissa, the clear MVP, was hoisted into the air as the crowd chanted her name over and over. News flashes buzzed across every B iPhone and Blackberry: “Just crushed D in dodgeball. Crowd went wild. Beast domination. Let’s continue this resounding victory.”
And continue they did. Thanks to their fearless captain Chris Koh (who could be found giving inspirational speeches between puffs of cigarette and sipping out of his discretely covered can of. whatever), Section B won the water-balloon toss against C and the dizzy bat race against G. Meanwhile, news came in that B had placed first in the Pictionary tournament, led by Maxwell Wessel.
But then came another stumbling block – the egg race against Section A. Having just come from dizzy bat, B was a bit off-balance and having trouble walking in straight lines. (B swears it was, in fact, due to the dizzy bat.) After a soul-crushing defeat, section B stood around staring at each other blankly, having already forgotten what it felt like to lose. Suddenly, invocations of Clarissa’s dodgeball comeback were shouted as B’s slowly broke out into their go-to cheer: “Whose house? B’s house!” Inspired, Section B rallied and came back to beat Section E in the three-legged race and Section I in the cornhole competition.
Finally came the tug-of-war. Section B’s first match-up was against Section I. Again, B stumbled out of the gate and gave some serious ground. Just when the red flag was about to pass into I’s territory, cries of “Do it for Clarissa!” rent the air and suddenly the momentum began to shift. Inch by inch, the rope began to move back toward Section B. B never gave up and finally brought home the win. In the next round, B lost its initial footing to Section F and quickly gave way, and in the final tug-of-war tally, Section A placed first, F placed second and B placed third.
After a tense 15 minutes of counting the final scores, the winners were announced: The bronze went to Section F with 74 points. The silver went to Section A (who deserves a special call-out for their Rocky video montage shown post-twinkie contest), who scored 84.5 points. And, of course, B took home the gold with 88 points.
As a proud member of Section B, I could easily attribute our Olympic success to our athletic prowess (after all, we are undefeated in volleyball and squash and had quite a run in the football play-offs), our good looks (did you see our models at the fashion show?), or simply our good fortune. But if you want my true opinion, it’s our culture. Section B, above all else, is an amazingly supportive and cooperative section. Throughout the day each B knew when to step up and when to step aside; when to speak and when to listen; when to lead and when to follow. Furthermore, we aren’t a section of superstars. Various heroes emerged throughout the day, most of which were unsuspecting.
“The best part of the Olympics was the camaraderie! Everyone came out, played hard and cheered even harder. Section Olympics was just what we needed to solidify the bonds we’ve been building all year long! It was a blast and I couldn’t be prouder,” said section president Kamala Salmon. In the end, it is truly Section B in its entirety that deserves to call itself 2010’s Section Olympic Champion.
Justin McLeod (NB Section Rep) is a first-year student from Kentucky. Prior to HBS, he was a consultant at PRTM in Washington, D.C.
Keys for Olympic Dominance
Limit your ball dispersion (STRAT)
If you’re a racer, you race, regardless of the odds against you (LEAD)
Go hard or go home (ENT-MGR)
Don’t over-analyze things (TOM)
Wolfpack. Wolfpack. Wolfpack. (MKT)
Unlike the Chinese Army, don’t be a wimp (BGIE)
MTS. “Moment to Shine” (FRC)
If all else fails, run like a headless horseman running around like a chicken with its head cut off
(Matt Zarider – no idea)