Olympics 2015: #UpForTheX
The annual AUBG Olympics event was held this Sunday, April 19, at Porter Park, marking the beginning of the Great Week at the University. The event was organized for the 10th time in the history of AUBG and included competitions in 15 sport disciplines. Despite the unfriendly weather conditions, the AUBG Olympics crew managed to engage students, alumni and faculty in different challenges, charity games and raffles.
The sports activities began on Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. with a 3.8 km marathon. The route of the marathon started at Aqua Park Blagoevgrad, continued up to the bridge near Bachinovo and then turned back to the finish line at the Aqua Park. The competitors’ results were estimated based on their gender and time results.
The rest of the competitions of Olympics 2015 continued on Sunday starting at 9:30 a.m. and went on for nine hours. During the day, all of the attendees had the chance to take part in various sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, dodge ball, tennis, powerlifting and many others. As in every Olympics edition, the crew had prepared medals and apparel with the club’s logo for the top three players (or teams) as well as small presents from their sponsors.
Unfortunately, the weather was not so favorable this year and many of the students and guests of the event were not satisfied with it. Their appeals were heard and in the afternoon it became sunny, which inspired the participants to get involved in more sport activities. Ivan Stoykov, an AUBG alumnus, commented that these are actually the perfect conditions for an event like that.
“This is the fourth Olympics games that I am attending,” he said. “A lot of people thought that it is too cold and not sunny enough, but let me tell you – I have been to two sunny Olympics and I got back home burned as a lobster, so please believe this year it is just perfect.”
As it was the tenth anniversary of the club, many alumni, who used to be members of the Olympics crew before, gathered to honor the event and visit their AUBG friends. They were able to evaluate the development of the club throughout the years and to support the team spirit of the crew. Venelina Miteva, former vice-president of the club, was glad to see the event improving every year.
“This is the tenth anniversary, and I think that this is the year in which everybody is prepared and with every single event we are trying to go further and improve what we do,” she said. “I think that this year the guys from the team managed to do it, even though the weather is not perfect.”
According to Stanislav Marinov, one of the club’s founders, the story of the club starts back in 2006 when a group of people, mainly from the American football team, came up with the idea of the format. Back then, AUBG was lacking any sort of sports club apart of American football and basketball, so in two weeks the founders of Olympics managed to prepare the first edition of the event in the dormitory area. Marinov shares that he is happy to see how their idea is developing from year to year.
“The most important thing is that Olympics crew is not losing their team spirit and they are able to carry out themselves around every circumstance that they have,” he said.
During the whole day, there was an ongoing charity campaign about Kristiyan Genev, one of the most successful Bulgarian Paralympic players. Genev’s debut in sports was back in 2011 at the Junior European Championship in the shot put discipline. Since then, he has started active training and in 2014 became the Bulgarian National Champion in shot putting. He also competes in the disk throwing competition and in 2013 he won second place in the National Championship. After this summer, Genev will represent Bulgaria in the World Paralympics Championship in Sochi. AUBG Olympics will cover Genev’s expenses for the preparation and transportation to the competition.
For those who didn’t participate in the sport activities, the club had negotiated with different sponsors to provide additional activities. Due to the high interest in the previous years, the organizers brought back an eight-meter climbing wall provided by Walltopia. Sofia Auto gave participants the chance to test drive four KIA cars, while KFM presented their product portfolio of meats. All attendants had the chance to participate in a raffle where the special prize was an all-inclusive trip to a surprise destination provided by WATA travel agency.
At the end of the day, Kaloyan Vasilev, president of the club, shared his emotions on the event.
“On behalf of the whole Olympics Committee I would like to say we are all tremendously satisfied with how the event turned out,” he said. “In the morning we had small weather issues, but luckily the conditions got better and that was the spark our team needed. Soon enough, the spirit caught up to all the participants and spectators and the games officially began. We are extremely exhilarated for being able to organize the tenth annual Olympic Games and are grateful for all the support from the AUBG community, without whom none of this would have happened.”
Olympics 2015 ended with an award ceremony, in which the special celebrity guest Rumnyana Neykova, a Bulgarian rower and gold medalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, awarded the winners in all disciplines.