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Hogolympics

Nov. 1 — A little rain can’t stop Hogolympics! Part spirit rally, part sporting event, the dorm competition is an NMH fall tradition.

It was raining the morning of Hogolympics — held on Oct. 26 outdoors on the athletic fields in the heart of campus — but moments before the games were to begin, the rain stopped, the sun peeked out, and the warm temperatures made it feel almost balmy for late October.

“What's a little rain and dampness to a Hogger? It’s a beautiful day and Hogolympics is on!” declared Grant Gonzelez, assistant head of school for campus life. 

A girl stacks red cups at Hogolympics.

And so it was time for the games — and the noise — to begin. 

As Associate Dean of Students T.J. Farmer sounded a conch shell, students wearing colorful T-shirts and carrying flags they created streamed out of their dorms and onto Thorndike Field, some arm-in-arm or sitting on each other’s shoulders while cheering and chanting and blaring music from a boom box.

Slow bike race at Hogolympics.

Students from each dorm don colorful t-shirts to compete fiercely in fun — and usually silly — feats, like seeing who can ride a bike the slowest, put together a puzzle the fastest, or stay dry during a water-balloon relay race. Think you’re adept at stacking plastic cups into a pyramid? Try doing it at a breakneck pace without letting any topple over — with your teammates whooping and hollering in your ear. 

Ninth-grader Anna Chechile took in the action at her first Hogolympics with her dorm mates.

“It’s nice that it’s not just a normal school day,” she said. “It’s fun to watch each other do things that are out of the ordinary and fun.”

Hogolympics

Dorms were grouped into three divisions, each named after a significant figure in the school’s history: the “Moody” division, named for school founder D.L. Moody; the “Baker” division, named for 1889 alum Thomas Nelson Baker Sr., who was born into slavery and later became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy (from Yale); and the “Keys” division, named for Lydia Emma Keys, a member of the Cherokee Nation who graduated with the Northfield Seminary’s first class in 1884.

As the slow bike race was about to begin, Zane Sylvester ’24 hollered and jumped up and down, cheering with his fellow Lower North Crossley residents. 

“We’re all pretty excited, and we’re feeling good that we can win this,” he said, smiling ear to ear.

Students hold their dorm flag at Hogolympics.

Turns out Sylvester was right. The overall winners for each division were: Lower North Crossley in the Moody division, Shea in the Baker division, and Monadnock in the Keys division.

But winning is only part of what Hogolympics is all about, according to Danah Daley ’26, a resident of Hubbard Cottage, also known as C4. 

Daley and her friend Talia Baron ’26 showed off the dorm flag they designed and created, depicting a colorful house that resembles both their dorm building and the house from the Pixar movie “Up.” An array of colorful balloons rising up from the house bore the names of each student who lives in or is affiliated with C4.

“We’re really proud of it,” Daley said of their flag. “We have a lot of good athletes, and we also have people who are artistic and have a lot of smarts. With this flag, we wanted to show that we are all part of it.”

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