By Matthew Berberea
Every four years, top athletes from around the globe carry on the Greek tradition of the Olympics. Here at Cameron University, Sigma Tau Gamma is beginning a similar tradition: the Manlympics.
The second annual Manlympics were held Feb. 1 in the McCasland Ballroom on the second floor of the McMachon Centennial Complex. The Manlympics featured such events as the root beer chug and burp, and the push, snap and high five.
Nine contestants faced off for the title of Manlympics Champion and a grand prize of $100. The field consisted of eight men, including reigning champion Myles Mendez, and for the first time one female contestant, Jamie Hatcher.
One contestant talked about the different events and what it took to prepare for the Manlympics. Senior Journalism major Aaron Gill, 21, said that he had to mentally get ready for all things man before the contest.
“A lot of Red Bull was involved,” he said, “as well as multiple push-ups. There was also a high jump competition in the waiting area between some of the other contestants and me.”
The event capped off a week full of Sig Tau events including “Jeobrody” and “Thumb Wars”. Executive Vice President of Sig Tau Tommy Smith said that the purpose of holding these events is to raise awareness of the fraternity around campus and to have a good time in the process.
“We do it during rush week, and these events get our names out there,” Smith said. “Traditional schools will do stuff at their houses or sit down and talk about their fraternity, whereas we like to hold open campus events that anybody can come. “
With a large number of non-traditional and commuter students here at Cameron University, Smith said it is difficult to plan events that will draw a large number of students.
“We go on a retreat every year with our executive board and we sit down and figure out where we want to go as a fraternity and what kind of events we would want to go to,” Smith said. “With Cameron University, it’s kind of hit and miss. Sometimes you’ll go (to an event) and there will be 100 students, but sometimes it will be the same event on the same night the next year and you’ll get 15 guys. So we try to make it a point to create events that we would like to go to, that we would have fun at, so if nobody shows up we still have a good time.”
The contestants did everything they could to give the crowd a good time, but it was ultimately up to the judges to determine the winner. The judging was not only based on actual performance in the various events, but style as well.
When all was said and done, it was 18-year-old Psychology major Juan Martinez who walked away victorious claiming the $100.00 prize. Martinez said that winning Manlympics made him proud to be a man.
“It feels pretty good, I feel manly now,” Martinez said. “This just gave me a massive ego boost. Today has just been my day. This is the era of Juan winning.”
Martinez also said that being the winner has made him instantly more comfortable with his manhood.
“I feel so manly from the Manlympics that I’m not afraid to say that I like musicals, that’s how manly I feel. I do love musicals.”
Tommy Smith said that when the voting was added up Martinez was the clear winner based on the judges’ final scorecard.
“I’m not one to argue with the judges,” Smith said, “I was surprised. But when you tally up the scores and the way everything was voted, there is no contesting it.”