Students Compete in Inter-Commons Olympics


Photo by Emma Stapleton


The Inter-Commons Fall Olympics were held at Battell Beach on Saturday, November 4, taking place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event hosted sports such as flag football, dodgeball, and bubble soccer, and anyone who completed a form was welcomed to participate. The event also allowed opportunities for Commons Pride Painting, where students were invited to collectively design a banner for their respective Commons. A stage was devoted to musical performances by the band The Big Sip, who played tracks from an original album and covered several popular songs. In addition to the shouts and laughters of the Olympic participants, The Big Sip’s music permeated Battle Beach with excitement and enthusiasm. Around lunchtime, free food and warm drinks were served. Considering that the temperature stood below a chilly 40 °F, the lunch offered friends and competitors a necessary break to warm up, regain energy, and socialize.

The sport of bubble soccer requires players to attempt to adhere to the rules and objectives of a soccer game while inside a large transparent bubble. A bubble contains an opening  across the bubble’s diameter that is wide enough to allow players to slip inside the bubble while giving them air to breathe. In these openings are handles that a player grabs onto, providing them stability for when contact occurs. Thanks to the well-designed safety features of the bubbles, players toss themselves at opponents while battling for possession, playing defense, and enforcing blocks. Any passerby of Battell Beach was encouraged to join, resulting in a series of informal matches. 

Sarah Howard ’19 facilitated the event. She went on to describe the process for preparing the Olympics. “I was on Brainerd Commons council last year, and I’m currently the only repeat commons council member,” she said. “[Assistant Dean of Students] Doug Adams was not here at the beginning of the year and we kind of needed someone to step up. So for now I’m just the facilitator.”

When asked why she started the Olympics, Howard said, “[The Olympics] used to be an annual thing, and they would have trophies from the 90s. But in the last couple of years, it sort of died out, and we’re trying to bring it back.”

Liam Kolling ’21 participated in the Fall Olympics.

“I was hanging out with some friends on Battell Beach, and we saw a big spectacle with this band pulling up, and we saw this truck unloading these big inflatable balls,” Kolling said. “I was so curious as to what it was, and after going back to my room and hanging out a bit, I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. So, my friends and I decided to come out and play.”

Matt Diener ’20, lead singer and guitarist of The Big Sip, joined sports activities after the band’s performance finished.

“We played bubble soccer, and it was super fun,” said Diener. “We strapped them on after the gig because we noticed them playing in the background, and we thought it was pretty hilarious.” 

The Inter-Commons Olympics provided students the opportunity to try new things, like bubble soccer. Hopefully more similar events happen in the future.