Daniel Zhao

Taking advantage of one of the first warm days of the spring, first years from the 14 residential colleges took to Old Campus on Saturday to compete in the First-Year Olympics.

Branford College claimed the first-place trophy this year, unseating two-time defending champion Trumbull College. Timothy Dwight College placed second, followed by Morse College in third.

“It was really exciting to be part of a college and class that came together to win,” said Louie Goldsmith ’21, a student in Branford. “There is such a strong community in the college already, and it was really special on the other side when you add the victory in.”

Participants went toe-to-toe on dodgeball courts, in a rap battle and even in a watermelon relay competition, among other events. First years interviewed by the News said they enjoyed the event and appreciated that it brought together members of all the colleges.

“I thought that the Olympics were really fun, and I really enjoyed the events that I partook in,” said Neehaar Gandhi ’21, a staff photographer for the News. “I enjoyed watching everyone on Old Campus, and I think that our captains did a great job of getting people that may not usually participate in college proceedings involved with the Olympics.”

Andre Costa ’21, a production and design staffer for the News, said he thought that the games were a great way for members of the college to interact with one another. He appreciated that the event allowed him to take a break from schoolwork and “to play games just like middle school.”

But at times, Costa said, the games seemed disorganized. Still, he said he enjoyed spending the day with his fellow first years.

Jacob McNeill ’21, Morse representative to the First-Year Class Council, said that planning the event was not easy but that he was very happy with how it turned out.

“I think that there was a lot more planning that went into this than any other event that First-Year Class Council has done this year, including First Year Formal, because the onus was on us for planning logistics, for everything that had to be bought, and for the event as a whole,” McNeill said. “Members of FCC were volunteering their time, getting things for the games, and running events throughout the day.”

As with any event, McNeill said, “there were small fires that had to be put out.” For example, the balls the FCC purchased for the dodgeball event were “comparable to small baseballs,” he said, and he and his fellow FCC members had to scramble to buy appropriate dodgeballs for the game.

Like Costa, McNeill said he found the day special because “it gave everyone a chance to take a break and act like kids.”

Cory Zhou ’21, captain of the Silliman team, also said that he loved the spirit of the event.

“Hyping people up was my favorite part,” Zhou stated. “I was wearing the salamander costume because I’m all about Silliman pride.”

Isha Dalal | isha.dalal@yale.edu