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4-H members enjoy down time

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Trying to break her balloon is Kenzie Mowry, 10, of Mill Run who is being encouraged by team coach Jocelyn Richter of Acme.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Eating a cracker as quickly as he can is Dakota Bash, 8, of Mt. Pleasant.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Eating the inside of an Oreo so he can stack it is Samuel Leonard, 10, of Dawson.

While they may not have been professional athletes who trained their whole lives for sports competitions, every participant of the Fayette County Fair 4-H Olympics put on a great show of determination and showmanship as they competed in the annual games on Thursday.

They had fun doing it, too.

“I love this event because this is just for these 4-H kids to have some fun,” 4-H leader and Olympics director Linda Diamond said. “This event features a lot of fun activities for them to do that isn't a serious competition. They are all done now with their animals and they are done showing, so this is just fun.”

Diamond added that the annual Olympics are a way to bring all of the 4-H members together.

“You have your horse kids and your livestock kids, but then you have kids from things like sewing clubs and other clubs that all come together in this event, which is a team event,” Diamond said. “These kids today have to learn to work together as a team to get the events done.”

Approximately 120 4-H members participated in the Olympics and were divided into 11 teams.

All the teams had to compete in the timed events that included cracker-eating and whistling; Pepsi chugging; balloon breaking; apple bobbing; water relay; egg toss; and “farmer” dressing, to name a few.

Each team had a coach that worked with the youths and encouraged them as they made it through the events.

“I told my team that first of all there is no “I” in team, never leave anyone behind, and stay true to the 4-H motto,” team “Barnyard Beauties” coach Jamie Hissem of Acme said.

The teams had fun as they made their way through the events, with team “Gold Bond” and team “Queen's Court” tying. A second egg toss event was the deciding factor. Team “Gold Bond” won.

“I have always liked the Olympics here,” 2013 Fayette County Fair Queen Morgan Hollowood said, adding that she has competed in the event for years. “It's fun and it's nice to see all the other 4-H kids.”

“We used to get together and do things like have shaving cream battles and now we have this big event with twice as many kids,” volunteer and former 4-H member Jacki Knetz of Perryopolis said. “We still look forward to this all week.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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