Family Olympics by Nick Carboni
On April 21st we held out 2nd annual family Olympics at Whipple Dam State Park. As a participating member of the inaugural family Olympics last year and being a part of this one I was honored and humbled. This year’s competition was not a friendly event as it once seemed to be, but a battle that would not soon be forgotten. The day had begun with a rocky start and not how any of us had anticipated. With our hopes down after Castor taking the first two events, our morale was low. The worst look that you will see in your life is when one of your own kinsmen has lost the will to fight. I pray that no one has to experience that pain; I do not even wish that on my worst enemies. With our team dwindling from the painful defeat in the 3-legged race, brother Nolan Amos and I decided that we needed to win this to keep us in contention, or at least make it respectable. The wheelbarrow event was a specialty to Nolan and I as we took the event handily last year. With Nolan’s punter-like calves wrapped under my arms we raced down to the volleyball net and as I dropped to the ground I felt the feeling of confidence as he gripped my ankles and lifted me up. As we raced down to the end I felt that we were still in this fight. After a few more events it was looking grim on the sandy beaches of Whipple Dam State Park. All of the smiles that littered our face were now smeared with fear, the fear of losing. The last event of the day was the egg toss and the battle was fierce. My partner in crime, Nolan, had retreated home, not in fear, but with pride, and due to the fact he had a project to finish. So Patriarch Matthew Winslow and I had to toss the pre-bird back and forth. "Cradle and absorb, cradle and absorb," was the plan. The future was looking bright, as the final two teams were Ajax and Castor. Our tosses and catches had started to become second nature and as the egg left my hand in a seemingly perfect toss, Patriach Matthew Winslow cradled the egg, but absorbed yolk. My toss was too high and his hand took the brunt of the hit. The events that transpired immediately after are a blur to me, but I remember yelling and anger and some tears that were shed. Castor had taken the final event, and with that took the win in the family Olympics. The feeling of defeat is hard enough to take, but to face the look of disappointment from your family is worse. On that day I vowed that I would not allow another loss in the family Olympics. Next year we will come back, stronger than ever. “We will not go quietly into the night, we will not vanish without a fight. We’re going to live on, we’re going to survive!” Bill Pullman’s words rang strong that day, our voice united, as our hope for a Burlingame victory was still strong. Our morale may have been beaten, but definitely not destroyed as we all recalled the words of Jim Valvano: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” We won’t Jim, and in the memory of our namesake Ajax, we will become stronger after this defeat. WE ARE AJAX!
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