Rome News-Tribune

Let the Games begin

- LOCAL COLUMNIST |SEVERO AVILA Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-tribune.

While the eyes of the world are fixed on athletes of the 32nd Olympiad going for gold in Tokyo, I thought it would be fun if Rome had its own Olympic games.

Here are a few of the events that might make the cut at the Rome Olympics. Do you or anyone you know qualify?

Celanese Polevault — This event is open to all Rome residents but it was invented in the Celanese neighborho­od when residents on particular streets would have to leap over large bodies of water that had remained after heavy rains in the area. Athletes are judged on height over puddles and distance covered.

Swerve and Switch — The venue for this sport is Turner Mccall Boulevard, specifical­ly the stretch directly in front of Zaxby’s. Competitor­s must head out of town and try to switch from the right lane to the left lane while swerving to avoid slamming into cars backed up trying to get to the restaurant’s drive-thru. They must also avoid cars already in the left lane.

Shorter Shake — Competitor­s must drive down Shorter Avenue and maintain control of their vehicle while it slams and shakes from the rutted pavement and metal plates. Athletes will be judged on how well they manage their speed and how well their vehicle’s suspension system holds up.

Tennis Talk — This popular local sport is held at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. But athletes don’t actually play tennis. They compete to see who can blame more of the community’s problems on the tennis courts than anyone else. Points are awarded for coming up with the most outlandish and ridiculous things they think are the tennis courts’ fault. Bonus points for not having a clue what SPLOST is or how SPLOST money is spent. Higher ranked athletes are those who have never attended a city/ county commission meeting but insist that their voice isn’t heard.

Martha Berry dodgeball — This event’s venue is the Martha Berry corridor between certain motels. Drivers must attempt to drive through the corridor without hitting jaywalkers who walk and run across the street at all hours with no warning. Judges look for quick reflexes with the steering wheel and brakes as jaywalkers under the influence of certain substances dart out into traffic screaming obscenitie­s at unseen targets.

Fountainin­g — Aquatics are a part of the Rome Olympics as well. This event is held at the Town Green and families compete to see how many kids they can fit in the fountain at any one time. The current world record holder is a couple that had all their nine children (ages newborn to 14) in the fountain at the same time.

Disney Detour — This is another family event where teams compete to see who can take more Disney vacations a year than anyone else. To qualify for the event, competitor­s must first post photos to social media of their multicolor­ed Magic Bands weeks before they actually go, and start and update a daily countdown on Facebook. Then while at Disney, they must share daily photos of the entire team at various parks with the majority of those photos being from the Animal Kingdom. Bonus points are awarded to teams who wear matching T-shirts every day of the trip. Judges will look for Disney decals on the family’s Chevy Tahoe and will deduct points for teams who use a travel agent as they should have already had their Disney routines down without any outside assistance whatsoever.

Power Parking — This event will be held on Broad Street. Competitor­s will be given various stores and restaurant­s at which to visit. They must park on Broad Street and adhere to all downtown parking regulation­s while conducting their business. This will require quick movements, speedy transactio­ns and may even require athletes to run to their cars and Re-park at a different location so as to avoid being ticketed.

Photo Op — One of the most picturesqu­e of Rome Olympic events, the sport of Photo Op requires competitor­s to outdo one another by taking photos of all major life events at Berry College, specifical­ly at the Ford Buildings. Top athletes in this category have had their pregnancy photos, prom pictures, Christmas photos, Easter photos, engagement photos and wedding photos all taken at Berry College. Training in this event requires a singular focus as athletes can’t get sidetracke­d by other local backdrops and must strive to photograph every single major life event in front of the majestic stonework of the Ford Buildings.

Those are just some of the events that could take place when our community hosts the Rome Olympics. I know some of y’all have been training all your lives for this. Let the games begin!

 ??  ?? Avila

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