Juniors “Grace” Their Way into the 2023 THS Olympics


Joie Evar, Staff Writer

If there is someone you should know in the junior grade, it’s Grace Chung. As class president, Grace has taken on the responsibility to lead the Jersey Shore Juniors to victory this year in the 2023 Olympic Games. In advance to this year’s event, see what Grace has to say about the THS Olympics and the hard work that goes into it.


What is it like being class president and running the Olympics?

I love being class president, and Olympics is just a responsibility that comes with [it], but it really is a rewarding process. I’m a pretty busy person just because I love to keep myself occupied, so after school, I go to musical rehearsal and go to my nanny job, so I get home pretty late. And when I get home, I’m pretty exhausted from my long day, so what I do is I eat dinner, shower, chug like two mugs of coffee, and start working. 

The only thing about Olympics is it’s hard for me to manage my time properly because I have to balance my extracurriculars [and] schoolwork, which is already a lot for me on top of more very time consuming deadlines. But I do have to say that although it takes a lot of time to organize Olympics for my grade, it’s not something I dread doing. It’s actually quite fun for me once I get back into the Olympic groove. I also think Olympics is a way for me to get closer to my class because through talking to almost 70% of our grade and communicating with everyone, I basically know everyone in our grade. This may sound creepy, but although they may not know me, chances are, I know them. It’s really nice to be able to learn new things about the people in my grade whom I never met until the Olympics started. 


What’s the hardest part about unifying the grade for the games?

I came into high school being the most spirited person you could ever meet. I mean, I loved school in itself, I loved our class, and I loved our class color, I loved everything. I truly believe that our class has high school spirit, but it’s just that it’s difficult to unite the grade for Olympics simply because our grade came into high school during COVID, which means this year is the first time the juniors get to experience the exciting Olympic experience where everyone is in the gym in their class colors screaming. When we were freshmen, because none of us really knew what the concept of Olympics was, Olympics wasn’t fun from the start and I think that’s what caused the issue. And because it was virtual, Olympics was composed of many pre-events and many students had to come to school from their home to do something like Kanjam. It was rough for all of us, but I have extremely high hopes for this year. It was so much easier getting people to do events this year and getting people to be in teams with people they didn’t know too well. But I think my grade understands how much effort the officers put into Olympics and I’m super grateful for our class because, honestly, compared to the other classes, the juniors are very easy to work with, and I can confidently say that our grade is very kind. 


What is one thing you learned last year that you are improving for this year?

Last year, the officers and I did a lot of begging trying to convince people to do events. Although we definitely did have to encourage some of our classmates a little more than others, we agreed that if someone doesn’t want to do an event, we won’t push them to. Olympics is supposed to be a fun day, and if that means we lose some points for not having enough people participating, so be it. We’d rather contribute to our friends making good memories instead of stressful ones. 

Additionally, the officers and I also took many of our classmates’ comments to heart. When people made fun of the theme or said something about Olympics being horrible, as silly as it sounds, it really hurt our feelings due to the amount of time and care we put into organizing it. But since this is our third time doing Olympics, we learned that there’s always going to be a group of people that try to put down our spirits and that’s okay. 


What is the biggest strategy to winning this year?

Our biggest strategy is reaching out to everyone who’s in each event and confirming that they’re okay with being placed in the event. It takes a lot of time and, honestly, not too many people respond back if we text, which is why if we see a face in the hallway or in class, we’ll just double check with our classmates to make sure everyone’s happy with their event. Our class advisor, Mr. Mirabito, is also helping us by posting an assignment on Classroom for each individual with their own events. Other classes aren’t too focused with doing this, but I think that this is a crucial part of our responsibility as officers—to let our class know exactly what events they are doing, where, and when because, sure, we can post rosters and schedules on Classroom all we want, but most people don’t check, so we’re willing to go the extra mile to make sure everyone’s happy and Olympics goes smoothly for us. 


Why do you think we lost last year?

I’ll be honest, I one hundred percent take the blame for our loss last year. It was my first in-person Olympics and it was really different from our freshman year. I didn’t really understand the substitution situation, which is basically that each class has 25 free substitutions and from there on points get deducted. No one knows this, too, but we use an extremely old program to create the rosters.

This year, the Olympic Committee literally gave us our own computers that we had to work on specifically for Olympics because the roster program is so old it only works on certain computers and not on my Mac. Last year, everything was still so new for us and I accidentally didn’t submit the correct roster to the Olympic Committee, which meant that during Olympic day, literally every single person was being substituted for the incorrect roster that we submitted. It [was] very confusing. But the fact that we still got second after we lost an unbelievable amount of points for our substitution issue is crazy to me. Our grade is so athletic, so smart, and we literally are the best. I wouldn’t put this much effort into the Olympics if I didn’t think we could win. Honestly, as long as everyone shows up to their event and we don’t have another substitution issue this year, I am confident we are winning. 


 What’s one thing you want to tell everyone before the Games?

I want to let our grade know that it’s a lot of work, but the officers and I are very grateful to be in charge of something as big and fun as Olympics. A lot of people come up to me saying how tired I must be and how I must be so stressed with Olympics coming up, but I want everyone to know that I genuinely care about our grade which means that I enjoy planning something like Olympics. I love seeing people dressed in yellow so excited to beat the other grades and it’s really rewarding to see everyone so happy and I can’t wait for Olympic day. I really hope that the officers and I have worked hard enough to make the day special for everyone. I love my class so much and I have the highest hopes. Go class of 2024!