Instead of competing in events like fencing and gymnastics, Chautauquans will get to participate in cornhole tournaments and inflatable swan races in the first-ever “CHQ Olympics.”
Teams made up of four to six people will duke it out during Week Three and take the theme, “The Art of Play,” to a whole new level.
Each team wishing to qualify for awards must participate in five of the Olympic events and, abiding by the honor system, mark which events they completed on the CHQ Olympics app. Participation points are awarded for each event, but competitive points give groups a better chance to win. There are four different categories of play: Every Day Free Play, Every Day Pick-A-Play, Organized Play and Competitive Events.
Events like the Color Sprint and the Jamestown Jammers/CHQ Pro-Am Softball Game are considered part of the Organized Play, and count as qualifying events.
CHQ Olympics will showcase popular areas of Chautauqua like the lake and Chautauqua Golf Club. Participants will try to hit a golf ball as far as possible at the Golf Learning Center — while blindfolded.
Sunday’s cornhole tournament and Monday’s inflatable swan races are two events that count toward competitive points. Vice President of Marketing and Communications and Chief Brand Officer Emily Morris, a “Bananagrams junkie” is looking forward to that tournament at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at the Athenaeum Hotel, but she said the swan races are sure to be a success.
The events are meant to work participants’ brains and bodies while adding in an element of fun, Morris said. Some of the events are built into the regular recreational programming, like kayaking and lawn bowling. Others are designed specifically for the Olympics, like an inflatable obstacle course and giant Connect Four on Bestor Plaza.
Although certain events are scheduled at specific times and locations, some events can be completed anywhere and anytime on the grounds throughout the week as part of the Every Day Free Play category. Competitors can keep a record of their walking steps, complete 20 minutes of biking or play a card or board game. Another option for Every Day Free Play is to complete a crossword puzzle from the Daily.
“We just hope everyone has fun with it and embraces the importance of staying mentally and physically active across generations,” Morris said.
Teams of four to six can register to compete. If guests do not have four people on a team, they will be paired up with others. If one person does not have a team, staff volunteers will join to fill out a team.