SOS-HGIC held its annual inter-hostel swimming competition at the pool area of the hostel. The weeks of preparation by the various sporting groups all led up to this highly anticipated day. The tension build-up could be felt throughout the school that day – it probably didn’t help that the day was abbreviated for said event. There was so much talk of the competition around the school, it seemed as though the walls were abuzz with the latest updates, and predictions of the outcome. From bold claims of expected victory to comments on heated matchups, the topic couldn’t leave the thoughts of spectators and participants alike. The school day ended and the competition was soon started.
The cheering voices of the various sporting groups could be heard from far beyond the hostel residence. As I was walking back from the college, the voices were welcoming me, urging me quicken my steps and join the fun. The shouts only got louder and louder as you approached the pool area. One could see that the cluster of the four hostel colors sandwiched the pool - the color of the pool itself foreshadowed the victors for this year. The supporters threw their energy into chants, hoping to fuel their swimmers. From the blue of the Spartan pack, to the green of the Titan leap, to the yellow of the Trojan bask, through the red of the Viking pride, more and more energy could be felt seeping into the atmosphere.
The ever present tension was punctuated by miniscule moments of calm, as dazed swimmers clamored out of the pool, and right before explosive jubilation errupted from specific colored clusters around the pool, inundating the whole area with joyous celebration and informing the swimmers of the race winners. However, silence always reasserted its presence right before the swimmers were signaled to begin their race.
Those deafeningly quiet seconds before the race begins, and everyone seemed to hold their breath, all still and unmoving. The tension weighed heavily on the swimmers and the spectators alike as they stood poised with anticipation killing loud cheers till not a whisper could be heard seconds before the swimmers gracefully shot off – or in some cases flopped into the water. The uninhibited start of a swimmer in a race is truly a sight to see. The swimmers' concentration could be felt even from all the way across the pool. Once in the water, they were fueled by the shouts of the crowd and forged ahead towards the finish line, not making the mistake of looking back. Then touching the walls of the other end of the pool, they signified the end of their race leaving their fates to chance, and the hard work their bodies put in.
It’s no secret some races were more anticipated that day and it was evident in the extra decibels the cheers rose to. The Ackuaku faceoff and a number of Niko & Amber races had the spectators on the edge of their seats. Other races left the crowd surprised and impressed with unexpected winners and unforeseen losses. Dana particularly shocked the crowd with her stellar performances and mindblowing victories, as she had just learned to swim a few weeks prior!
At the end of it all the results needed to announced, but as with all SOS-HGIC events, an intermission preceded this. The time for results eventually arrived and a tense hush once again washed over the entire area. In last place came the Vikings, unsurprising, as they had lost some of their strong swimmers the previous year. Following in third place were the record holding Trojans, ending their 13- year winning streak. Then came the Titans in second place, forcing themselves out of the last place position they had nestled in for so long. Finally, the Spartans snatched first place from the iron grasp of the Trojans. A well- deserved win, after a great display of effort and sportsmanship, and in true Spartan style, an epic celebration ensued, to truly leave no doubt in anyone’s minds that they were the champions.