Want to be a certified Olympian? Now you can!

Student Olympics, coming soon to a campus near you

Synchronized swimmers in a triangle formation in a pool.
PHOTO: cottonbro studios / Pexels

By: Kaja Antic, Staff Writer

With the Paris 2024 Olympics quickly approaching, many of us at home lament that we can’t participate in the rigorous athletic competitions that trained athletes much younger than us are gaining medals for. Or, that’s what we may think.

As SFU students, we are eligible to compete in our own Olympic events — the difficulty of some being harder than those exhibited across the Atlantic in France this July. All you have to do is pick one or more of the following events to compete in! The International Olympic Committee doesn’t exist for these events; the only judges are the Burnaby Mountain raccoons. 

The AQ to West Mall Half-Marathon

Don’t you love the trek across campus? Now it’s an official event! If you can make the cross-campus distance in under ten minutes, you earn yourself a medal! Navigating the packed walkways, climbing the concrete stairs, dealing with the cold mountain wind — this route can be a challenge for any student.

Still think it’s too easy? Try the UniverCity to Residence Marathon for an even harder challenge. Make sure to watch out for construction detours. They change every hour.

Swimming (Multiple Locations)

With many fountains and ponds around campus, there are lots of options for swimming events, a traditional staple at the regular Olympics. While we don’t recommend diving — seriously, save your spines, kids — short and long-distance swimming is available, even with the on-campus pool closed for renovations.

The short-distance competition will be held in Fountain Plaza, just west of Convocation Mall, while long-distance swimming will be held in the Jade Pond on the AQ 2000 level. Additionally, synchronized swimming will be held in the AQ koi pond. Don’t worry about assembling a team — the fish can coordinate a routine with you for this event!

The koi pond is an especially unique venue, as it can also play host to ice hockey during winter competitions (we at The Peak do not endorse this — though the Vancouver Canucks may be in talks with SFU to use it for training purposes)!

“Additionally, synchronized swimming will be held in the AQ koi pond. Don’t worry about assembling a team — the fish can coordinate a routine with you for this event!”

Pigeon Dodging

Author’s note: The previous iteration of this article included a similar event of Canadian Goose dodging. Due to concerns about human participant safety, this event has been cancelled to avoid further casualties.

Ever noticed the abundance of pigeons that make their way inside the campus, regardless of the time of year? Since these government spies love to see exactly what students are doing at all times, they are everywhere! This event is easy to enter — in fact, you’re probably already part of it! As long as you have side-stepped, ducked, or ignored these dinosaur descendents, you have participated in this sport in some capacity! Congratulations, you’re an Olympian!

Standing-On-Bus-During-Burnaby-Mountain-Descent Contest

This event is only for the brave. The student-athlete that can stand on one of the various mountain-descending bus routes for the longest time without falling, wins the Olympic champion. Extra points will be awarded to those who can do this hardcore activity without holding onto any poles, handles, seats, or fellow transit-goers. 

You may be asked to sign a waiver beforehand in regards to twisted ankles. To be fair, you’d get the same injury walking along any outdoor space on campus, the risk in this bus is just gravity instead of potholes deeper than the Mariana Trench.

Finding McFogg the Dog

This is less of a sport and more of just a personal plea. Please find him so there is an ounce of character inside these blank concrete walls. Let this dog bring life back to a campus so deprived of it. Finding this lost dog nets you a gift card reward, so there is incentive. Please, SFU, we know there are budget cuts, but please return our beloved furry. The student Olympics need a mascot!

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