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This is a question School Sports Day

At some point in the distant past, someone at my school had built a large concrete tank behind the sheds and called it a swimming pool. Proud of this, they had a "Swimming Sports Day" in which everyone had to participate, even those who couldn't swim (they got to walk across the shallow end of the tank).

This would probably have been OK if the pool hadn't turned a deep opaque green the night before due to lack of maintainance. Even the school sports stars didn't want to go near the gloopy mess in the pool. We were practically pushed in. I'm sure some of the younger kids never surfaced again and the non-swimmers looked petrified.

Tell us your sports day horrors.

(, Thu 30 Mar 2006, 11:13)
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Grade 9 track meet
I've always been a skinny guy, the kind who'd get picked last for every team game. In junior high, every year for phys ed we did a unit on English football and a unit on Canadian football. Whichever team ended up with me was always shocked to find I was the best fullback in the grade. In the Canadian football, I was the fastest runner and made it a habit of scoring a few touchdowns off interceptions per game. Still I hated sports just because I'm the nerd and I'm supposed to be bad at sports. You couldn't be good at both physical and mental activities; it just wouldn't be had.

At the very end of our final year, we had a mandatory track meet, and were told "You must compete in three events or you will fail phys ed." So rather than skip it, I showed up and put myself down for a couple events.

1) The 100-meter run. I didn't even take off my poncho, which was the fashion at the time. We lined up, the starting gun went off, and I blew past everyone. I heard the one black guy in my class shout "Holy crap!" as everyone had figured he'd be the easy winner (being black of course). One event down, one first-place ribbon, and one stereotype broken.

2) The long jump. We got two jumps. I did my first one and it was just about average. I was disappointed, but everyone said, "No, no, that was a good jump." I did a second one and got around four meters, which was good for a 14-year-old. Everyone was silent, staring at where I'd landed, way farther than everyone else. So that's two first place ribbons.

3) Near the end of the day, I realised that despite my two victories, I still needed to do one event or I'd fail. The only event left was the triple jump, which I totally bombed.

Pretty soon after, everyone forgot I was more athletic than them, including me. Twelve years on I've really let myself go. Last night I woke up on the couch with a half-finished beer in my hand, and I could hardly bend at the waist.
(, Fri 31 Mar 2006, 4:01, Reply)

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