Olympics XLI: Some Sophomores behind the Scenes

Staff Writer Erin Hong presents the behind the scenes, preparation, and the people behind the Tenafly High School Olympics Event.


Erin Hong, Staff Writer

Today, Friday, March 6th, 2020, is the THS Olympics XLI. Students and staff are sure to have a blast, but what goes on behind the scenes to make this day possible? I set out this week to answer that question.

I first interviewed Lucy Harper, the sophomore class president. 

What did you like working on the most for the Olympics?

I loved painting the banner with my officers; we had Madeline Shaw draw the outline of the banner, then we the officers– with the help of Samantha Cangemi, Rayea Jain, Misora Ito, and Lia Kim–painted the banner. It looks fantastic! That was probably my favorite part. 

Where will the banner be hung?

It will be hung behind the bleachers on Olympics day, and I hope that you will all be pleased about how it turns out.

How was the process of making the commercial?

We spent several hours after school filming with Isaac Lee (the director), Josh Seong, Kenny Uchida, Jack Newman and Matthew Ngai. We worked together, and it was definitely odd trying to figure out what Isaac wanted—who did a wonderful job with the amazing cinematography—but I’m very pleased with the outcome of the commercial. 

What was the hardest part about preparing for the Olympics?

Making the roster was extremely stressful—trying to please everybody and putting them in different events—but I think that we did a very nice job of trying to put as many people in the events they wanted as possible. We accommodated the students, of course.

Who do you think will win at the Olympics?

Oh, Shrekmores for the win. 100% of the way. Go Shrekmores!

Next, I interviewed Madeline Shaw and Chantel Liang, the painters of the banner. (I put a corner of Shrek’s face for the picture because the entire banner is a surprise!)

How did you guys come to paint the banner for the Olympics?

Shaw: I won a competition for drawing! I was in Ms. Cullinane’s class, so that’s how I found out about all the banner stuff. I asked her, “Who was painting the banner?” and she replied, “No one. How about you?” So naturally I’m here, painting the banner. 

Chantel: Yes, and we were both in art class at school. 

Shaw: I couldn’t have done this without Chantel—especially with painting the donkey. 

How was the process of painting the banner?

Very, very physically exhausting. Much more than I thought it would be.

Oh no…how long is it taking you to paint it?

A lot of time. Days, I think. Maybe about 15 hours?

Wow, that’s insane. How many people came and helped?

I think about 10 people—the officers, helpers…they were very helpful!”

Next, I interviewed Ms. Cullinane, the “Boss” in charge of the Olympics. 

What was the hardest part of planning the Olympics?

I would say that the hardest part is trying to get everyone on the same page, trying to get everyone coordinated, showing up at everything, trying to respect that everyone wants something different, and trying to get everybody included.

What do you look forward to the most on Friday at the Olympics?

I really look forward to seeing everyone come together, them being excited about all the events of the day, and just the mixture of people and everyone being all together! 

Last question—what was, for you, the best part about preparing for the Olympics?

The best part is similar to the part I look forward to the most – bringing everybody together. The officers become really close with each other with all the time they spend together, and so do the people who paint the banner. I love watching all the friendships grow and everybody getting excited all together!

Interviewing these amazing people really got me into the Olympics spirit. I would like to say thank you to everyone who put in the hard work of putting together this incredible event. Personally, as a sophomore, I think Shrekmores are in for the win!