Forget Rio: Rednecks Throw Own, Er, 'Olympics'

Except they can't call their games that, thanks to prickly Olympic Committee
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 31, 2016 10:44 AM CDT
Forget Rio: Rednecks Throw Own, Er, 'Olympics'
Spectators cheer as a pickup truck splashes through mud at an event formerly called the Redneck Olympics on Saturday, July 30, 2016, in Hebron, Maine. The organizer now calls the event the "Redneck Blank" after Olympic officials complained about the name.    (David Sharp)

There were no world-class athletes or top-notch sporting venues in Maine, but there was cold beer, barbecue, and a muddy tug-of-war Saturday at the event formerly known as the Redneck Olympics, reports the AP. The event, now officially known as the "Redneck (Blank)" after the real Olympics threatened to sue, also featured bobbing for pig's feet, a greased watermelon haul, and toilet seat horseshoes. If that's not redneck enough, then there was a wife-hauling contest and free mud runs for big-tired trucks. Organizer Harold Brooks said it's all about regular folks having fun without pretentiousness. "For me, a redneck doesn't mean a person who's dumb or lazy. A redneck to me means someone who can laugh at themselves. They're a hard-working group of people who can let loose and have a good time," he said.

On Saturday, a cacophony of loud music and roaring engines were set against a dusty backdrop in the hills of western Maine where several thousand gathered. People paraded around in pickups, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, go-karts—and even a snowmobile. Many spectators ended up covered in mud themselves. "It's a big, dirty party," said one woman. Crowds were encouraged to get into the act during the "competition," but athletic skills were not a requirement. One event called the "beer trot" featured an obstacle course that participants traversed while carrying a beer in each hand. The goal was to finish quickly—without spilling. There were faux gold, silver, and bronze medals for winner, but the US Olympic Committee put the kibosh on the "Redneck Olympics" name in 2011, Brooks said. That doesn't mean rednecks went down without a fight. T-shirts were emblazoned with "Redneck Olympics"—with "Olympics" crossed out. (Read more Redneck Olympics stories.)

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