Beerlympics draws largest crowd yet
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2012 18:02
Orlando's best and brightest beer guzzlers came out on Saturday to the Wall Street Plaza in downtown Orlando to compete for medals, cash and bragging rights at the fourth annual Winter Beerlympics.
Teams of four gave it their all in games of flip cup, beer pong and quarters for the coveted grand prizes of $500 in cash and temporary fame and glory. Other prizes in the contest included medals, admission to all Wall Street bars all night long, unlimited brew and Miller Lite merchandise. The team with the best uniform also won a bonus prize. Orlando Pub Crawl and the Orlando Sport and Social Club along with radio station Rock 101.1 and Wall Street Plaza helped organize the event.
Sixty-five teams of four checked in at 6:30 p.m. and paid $25 per person for a shot at championship glory. The contest drew hundreds of people who endured the cold weather, including spectators who paid $20 to watch the event, listen to music provided by Rock 101.1 and drink bottomless draft beer.
"I came here to support my husband," spectator Jenny Anderson said. "He made the finals for two years in a row, and he's been trying to improve his team."
The first round of the competition was flip cup, followed by quarters and then ending with beer pong. The top eight teams with the highest points then competed in a single-elimination tournament.
The event drew the most participants since the first Beerlympics four years ago.
"We kind of got the idea from friends and playing beer pong and flip cup tournaments," Orlando Pub Crawl owner Cameron Parker said about the start of the event. "So I figured, why don't we combine all these drinking games together, and then we came up with the Beerlympics."
The themes of the teams ran the gamut ranging from co-ed teams and all-male and all-female teams. There were teams dressed in ancient Greek attire to teams dressed as Ninja Turtles and Super Mario Bros., transforming Wall Street into a Halloween-like party environment. Other teams went with more simple costumes such as tie-dye uniforms, and some just wore their favorite sports team jerseys, but the teams still kept the outrageous team names.
Other teams based their themes and costumes from popular movies.
"We picked Top Gun," Josh Soper said. "I'm in the Air Force, too, so it just fit."
There was a lot of trash talking as the beer athletes tried their best to chuck that last beer pong ball in the cup or chug that last flipped cup. Some came strictly for the championship prize of $500, while others came to test out their livers and just have fun.
"We just came out here to have a good time and be silly," Soper said. "It's like a house-party environment."
Contestants even practiced for the Beerlympics beforehand, making sure they were well prepared for the athletics involved in the events.
"We practiced quarters for the first time just three days ago," Abney said.
Orlando Sport and Social Club Director Ezra Simmons said he enjoys bringing events like the Beerlympics together, and said that the club frequently organized adult sports leagues and events with live music.
"I think it's a great way for people to get together and be competitive," Simmons said.
The Winter Beerlympics won't happen for another year, but in the meantime, Orlandopubcrawl.com and Orlandosportandsocialclub.com have plenty of upcoming similar events to keep the party crowd entertained.