Olympic-style games aim to integrate OU students

As excitement builds worldwide for the 2012 Olympic Games this summer, the International Student Union is bringing the spirit of the games to Ohio University this week.

The organization will hold its own Olympic Games starting Monday and concluding the following  Sunday.

Mohamad Al-Issa, president of ISU, thought it would be a new opportunity for international and American students to play different sports together, said Ajar Chekirova, the PR director for the International Student Union and a graduate student studying international studies.

“Many students on campus are involved in various recreational activities and sports,” she said. “Olympic Week will provide a chance for the students interested in sports to meet one another and have fun together.”

Students who registered had a choice between basketball, volleyball and badminton.

Two basketball teams, two volleyball teams and 16 badminton players are registered for OU’s mini games.

“We hope that this event will be successful in bringing different people from different countries together so that they can enjoy playing sports games, meet new people and make new friends,” Chekirova said. “We also hope that it will contribute to the multicultural experience of OU students.”

The week will lead up to the International Student Union’s annual Soccer World Cup. For the first time, the World Cup will be held at Peden Stadium and start at noon.

Rather than have 11 players per team playing each game, this year’s limit has been lowered to seven, said Tanner Bivens, the head official for the World Cup and a senior studying global studies.

“This change will make it a lot easier to officiate,” Bivens said. “It’s going to be easier for us (four officials) to handle any situation if it comes up.”

Individuals or teams can register as a specific continent. The number of games and style of elimination will depend on how many teams sign up, Bivens said.

The second and final round of the World Cup will be May 20. The final game will be followed by a free picnic.

“As far as recreational sports go, they are stress-relieving activities as long as they don’t become hyper-competitive,” Bivens said. “It is fulfilling to play a game with friends while learning how to work together as a team.”


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