On April 11, at 8:30 p.m., the lights will go out in the Davis Field House. Strings of Christmas lights will be turned on. Glow sticks will be passed around. And students will file in to cheer on the seven nations competing in the first-ever BJU Glolympics.
Spectators can pay $2 to enter the arena and sit in the cheering section of their favorite team for the pre-games, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The pre-games, which will include a basketball tournament and a bouncy house obstacle course race, will be open to all spectators. Every winner will receive a medal and points for the country they’re supporting.
While all this takes place inside the DFH, take a step outside to watch the runners sprinting 3.1 miles around campus in glow-in-the-dark gear, racing for the chance to make history as the winner of the first BJU GloRun, which will begin at 8:30 p.m.
And while you’re outside, look for the two photo booths filled with dress-up clothes and props.
After hitting up the two photo booths, you can refuel at one of the food vendors, which include Smoothie King, Rhino Concessions, Port City Java and Blueberry Frog.
At 9:30 p.m., return to the DFH for the Pride of Nations Parade. Medals will be awarded for patriotism, best flag and best national anthem.
After the lighting of the official torch, the glow-in-the-dark games begin, with dodgeball, capture the tag and an obstacle course relay. Watch for the curling and luge spoofs, modeled after the lesser-known winter Olympic sports.
After the games, the seven nations will stand by for the final point count. As the winner is announced, the team’s national anthem will be played in honor of their victory. The games will conclude at 11:30 p.m., and students should return to their residence halls by midnight.
Senior nursing major Daniel Sasek, ambassador for team Haighti, said his team of nurses chose their name in honor of their mother ship: the Grace Haight Nursing Building. “We already spend most of our life [there], so becoming a nation was just a natural progression,” he said.
While winning would be a huge honor, Sasek said he is most excited for some good times and friendly competition. But Sasek offers a good-humored warning to the other six teams: “It should be kept in mind that it is generally at our discretion to select the size of your needle.”
You’ve been warned.
Student body women’s president Sarah Kalmbach said she originally came up with the idea for the Glolympics at the ice cream social. She said she wanted to blow the student body away with an event even more amazing than last year’s Seniors On Stage talent show.
She is especially excited for the unity the games will create within the student body and the sense of community the games will create within our city. The SLC members have been hard at work passing out flyers around town in an attempt to bring in the community.
Kalmbach hopes to open the BJU campus to the Greenville community and share with them the fun times the University’s faculty, staff and student body have together.
Kalmbach and fellow SLC member Alicia Newcomer said they are most excited to experience the energy in the glow-in-the-dark DFH and the excitement of the final medal ceremony.
Newcomer urges people to pick a team to cheer on during the games, whether it’s the team your friends are on, the team with the coolest flag, or the team closest to the food vendors. Pick a team, and stick by it to the end.
BJU has never done anything like the Glolympics before, but Kalmbach isn’t worried. It fit right into her overarching goal for the year: “To create an overall student experience that was better than any other year.”