Olympkis: Tradition or Controversy?

On Friday, November 13, our third official Olympkis organized by Student Council and Spirit Council, was held. After an early dismissal from class following a half-day schedule, students scurried around the school competing in various engaging games for the last four hours of school. The main objectives of Olympkis was for students to temporarily escape from their academics, allow the collective blend of all grades, but most importantly, for everyone to have fun.

A group of students huddle together for a quick strategy session.

What the students often take for granted, however, is the amount of work that goes into setting up such a large event which aims to bring together all students from the entire high school department. To give us this insight into the behind-the-scenes actions of Olympkis, Blueprint had the opportunity to interview with Mr. Lunardo, one of the greatest contributors of Olympkis.

What are the purposes/goals of Olympkis?

“Olympkis itself is run by Spirit council, so its main purpose is to increase spirit, but spirit in a different way. We’re looking at mixing grade levels and forming relationships across grade levels, so it’s a larger group, so we’re KIS.

It’s important to be global citizens, to try to interact with everybody. I think there needs to be a venue where you go out of your comfort zone and interact with people that you don’t know, as that is reality in life. Later in life, you will be set in jobs or places where you have to deal with people you don’t know. I think this interaction is a required life skill. 

Olympkis is just a simple opportunity, just a venue, it’s up to you, students, to use it. We can go back to a skinny day, but this is an opportunity, so why not use it and have fun?”

What are your overall opinions on Olympkis?

“As I went around taking pictures,I saw a lot of smiling faces, people participating, and people engaged. There still was a small group of people who sat down, not fully engaged, but for the most part, I saw enjoyment. I think those from Spirit Council and Student Council, the leaders involved, really did a good job leading the activities and motivating people to participate. So overall Olympkis was a success.”

What improvements do you have for next year?

“Hopefully we might be doing another Olympkis at the end of the year. It’s only a proposal, but it might become a longer event—full day. In this event, some of the activities weren’t as effective at getting cross-grades working. There were different grades, but not everyone was partaking in the activities. So our improvements have to be made in that area where we can ensure that all grades are participating together. Along with that, we didn’t have an even balance of athletic and rather strategic activities. Hopefully in the second one, we’ll get more strategic activities because the main idea is to provide students with an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities.”

Clearly, this is not an event planned overnight. As much as the students may understand this, however, Olympkis is often a topic of certain ‘controversy’ among the student body: to love, or to not-love Olympkis? One one hand are supporters of Olympkis who enjoy partaking in the sweat and zest of activities. On the other hand, however, are objectors who instead question the whole purpose of the event, believing that the event is rather unnecessary, requiring excess energy.

Let’s hear from both sides of this tense dispute.

Side 1: YES, We love Olympkis!

Jadyn Hyun (’18) and Alice Kang (’18) team up for an exciting round during Olympkis.

“Olympkis was a wonderful experience for me as I was able to meet and compete with new students I have never met. I also enjoyed Olympkis as it gave me a break from school work.” 

        – Derek Min (’17)

“Olympkis was a great way to interact with not only people in other grades, but also with people in my grade. I think Olympkis was well-planned and I really appreciate the clubs who worked hard to make this event happen! Olympkis also allowed me to exercise because the activities were interactive and there were also a lot of stairs I had to walk up!”

        – Hannah Kim (‘18)

“I enjoyed Olympkis! It was fun to bond with other students to win games. I had a great time with my friends. But, I hope there’s a station where people can rest after they complete a small task because we ran out energy in the second half of the event.”

        – Yuna Shin (’17)

“I think Olympkis provides a day off for students who are tired of just drilling themselves with work. It was fun to feel the schoolspirit and witness amazing athleticism among KIS students! But then I was really tired at the end of the day…”

        – Suahn Hur (’18)

Side 2: Oh no, not again

Clark Kim (’16) looks in surprise as someone hits him (yet again) with a dodgeball.

“I think Olympkis was a good experience for students to take a short break from studying and get closer with other grades. Some games were fun to play, but some were a bit boring.”

        – Jimmy Kim (’19)

“Olympkis was both entertaining and somewhat wearisome because I found that the objective of Olympkis was not accomplished as students expected. I heard that the purpose of it was to give an opportunity for underclassmen and upperclassmen to acquaint, but I, along with my peers who are freshmen, found that we did not get close to a lot of new upperclassmen. The awkwardness truly hindered the underclassmen’s opportunity to bond with other grade levels. I found that most of the students mingled with just their year groups, making the purpose of Olympkis weak.”

        – Sarah Oh (’19)

“I felt like Olympkis had a very good purpose of trying to help the students get out of their academic stress, but the event itself actually made me feel very exhausted. Students leading the games weren’t able to control those playing the games, and moving around every once in awhile was quite exhausting.”

        – Anonymous (’18)

“I thought the teams were very unbalanced, and there were no incentives to work hard and win. Before Olympkis even started, I already knew which team was going to win.”

        – Anonymous (’16)

On either side of the great controversy, it is an irrefutable fact that Olympkis had fair goals but results were viewed from different perspectives, ultimately defining its success. Anyhow, we should appreciate the effort of students and teachers who spent hours arranging this event.

Maybe too demanding or just right? Perhaps cooperation or not?

What are your thoughts?

– Yoo Bin Shin (‘18)

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