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Longboat Key Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 1 year ago

When the gong is struck, Longboat's Longbeach Village Olympics begin

From bocce ball to corn hole, Village Olympians compete for ribbons.
by: Suzanne Elliott Staff Writer

It’s a sure thing the annual Village Olympics won’t be televised around the world.

And it’s also for certain the 56 neighbors who are competing Saturday will have fun at the event, now in its second year. 

Forty people participated last year.

The Village Olympics was the brainchild of Carla Rowan, a Village resident, who said she was looking for a way to have fun and meet some of her neighbors.

“Pete (her husband) and I do a lot of monitoring of Town Hall, watching out for the interests of the Village and of Longboat Key,” said Carla, who co-founded Keep Longboat Special, along with Pete. 

“A long time ago we talked about doing a pitch-and-putt (golf) tournament in the Village, but that never happened. I needed to do something fun.”

There is no planning committee, no budget, nor entry fees. Everything is done by Carla with some help from Pete.

Participants are divided into teams of four with two men and two women on each. Carla has women each draw a playing card from one platter. Then, she will have the men each pick a card. People with matching cards are a team. Families play as one team. There are 14 teams this year.

“We don’t divide up families,” she said. “Kids, 8 to 10 to 12 are the biggest competitors.”

The event starts at noon Saturday, with the games beginning 15 minutes later.

 It wraps up at 4:10 p.m. with a Happy Hour at Carla’s house, 601 Broadway St.

The teams will compete two at a time in: corn hole, bocce ball, a hoop shoot, pitch and putt, croquet, and pingpong Giant Jenga. The last event involves having a large Jenga tower on a pingpong table. 

The goal is to remove as many pieces as possible from the tower using one hand without it falling over.

“This is such a hokey thing to do, but people are laughing and having fun,” she said.

“Some people are even practicing.”

The winners also won’t be standing on a podium to get their ribbon.

“I may, however, have them stand on the stairs,” she said.


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