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Game of Ollies: Who will be king?

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Photo by Jessie Wade.
Competitors tried to ollie as high as they could for a shot at being crowned king at the “Game of Ollies” contest Thursday. Photo by Jessie Wade.

In the middle of a mass of people, who were attending the 5th Avenue Live Block Party at Coborn’s Plaza Thursday evening, dozens of people crowded around the parking garage behind The Youth Shelter Supply to witness who would be crowned the “Ollie King of St. Cloud.”

The SCSU Block Party was the hot spot to be that night, with hundreds of people swarming around the Coborn’s Plaza parking lot. Many were tasting food from local businesses like Pizza Hut and Noodles, snagging coupons from Powder Ridge Terrain Park, running around in bouncy castles like their younger selves, and playing games.

The DJ’s mixed current favorite songs, with old-school jams, while at the same time, The Youth Shelter Supply-sponsored contest, Game of Ollies, came into play. The competition was a high ollie contest to determine which skateboarder had the highest ollie – a term that reflects the pushing down of one’s skateboard to make it “pop” high into the air. In this case, the competitors were headed over a metal bar that was raised higher and higher after every rotation of those competing.

The idea of the event this year was inspired by the HBO TV show “Game of Thrones,” complete with the flyer mimicking the style of the show, said Mike Pettit, co-owner of The Youth Shelter Supply. “It’s all about the Ollie,” said Pettit, “Whoever is left standing in each division at the end gets to take home the gold crown.”

The divisions were made up of those who were 5 foot 3 inches tall and shorter, and those who were 5 foot 4 inches and taller.

Skateboarder’s started off practicing as soon as the bar went up. Some kept falling and laughing, and other’s were landing their high ollies and skating away proud. Skateboarding is a sport that is supported by encouragement – whether that be friends or strangers – when someone stomps a trick, the sound of everyone banging their boards on the ground in excitement can be heard everywhere.

The beginning of the contest started right after the sun went down on Thursday night, as the participants performed their skills under the spotlights in the dark, slightly eerie parking garage.

Lane Kloskowski, a senior at SCSU and employee at The Youth Shelter Supply, oversaw the contest and directed the riders where to go and when. People of all ages competed to take home the title of the “Ollie King of St. Cloud,” and after a half hour and many strenuous attempts, the kings of each division were crowned.

“We were very happy with the turnout of the entire Block Party this year,” Pettit said. “It seems to be growing in numbers every year, and I know all of the vendors were really happy with how many people attended.”

Pettit continued, “The students seemed really into the DJ and music aspect of it, and that was great.” And for those wondering, Pettit said, “We will definitely be doing the Ollie event again next year.”

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