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The Oldham County Olympics

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By John Foster

As the world turns their eyes to Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Oldham Countians turn their eyes to our own event that happens only once every four years, The Oldham Olympics — acutulus, auctus, viridus (smarter, richer, greener.)Some events to keep your eye on:The 40-meter dashThis event requires lightning quick reactions. A ringing bell and blinking lights over the train track signal competitors to begin. The best at this competition have the ability to quickly calculate a variety of factors, including the momentum of the train and a cost-benefit analysis involving the chance of beating the train, the amount of time spent waiting if they don’t beat it and just how likely they are to die if they calculate wrong.The site of last Olympics’ competition, Main and First, is no longer equipped to hold the competition, so it has been moved down a block to Second and Main where competitors have to rely even more on their skills in the absence of lights and bells.The backstrokeA couple months ago, the Oldham County Planning and Zoning Commission was completely out of shape for this competition. The way they stood by their decisions made the casual observer believe they didn’t even know how to backstroke.But in a surprise twist, the commission qualified for the Olympics with a record time in the qualifying heat against Brentwood subdivision.ChickenTractors have historically been dominant in the age-old game of highway chicken in Oldham County. But during the last 40 years, suburbanites have been gradually asserting themselves more. Will this be the year Hummers finally make tractors swerve into the ditch, forever establishing dominance?The Crestwood Supermarket smoke snatchThis event has been renamed — many people still know it as the IGA smoke snatch. For those under the maximum age of 17, the object is to either bum one cigarette — or for gold-medal hopefuls — to get someone to buy them a full pack. There are unconfirmed reports that a teen was once able to bum a full carton, but that is probably an urban legend.The left-hand turnContenders in this event endure not only the danger of taking their life into their hands, but the scorn of fellow drivers as they attempt to turn left across traffic. Sites of the event are Ky. 53 in La Grange and school zones throughout the county. Spectators at Ky. 53 can witness the slalom driving event concurrently.The site of the left hand turn event has already been decided for 2012, and has some competitors saying it will be just too challenging. In 2012, competitors will try out their left-turning prowess at Ky. 22 and Clore Lane, coming out of Brentwood.The triathlonThe triathlon is new for this year’s games, regaining popularity it hasn’t enjoyed since the Carter administration. Contestants must master three skills — prying, sucking and running. They pry open a gas tank door, suck through a long rubber siphon to get the gas flowing, then run like crazy.

The views expressed in this column are those of the writer. E-mail us about this story at: jfoster@oldhamera.com.