Collegia Classica launches Language Olympics


Jason Smith

Junior John Do takes flight as he hopes to score a victory in the long jump event of the Language Olympics.

Krystina Slack

On April 30, the Collegia Classica club put together Augustana’s very first Language Olympics. The Language Olympics created a place for cultural groups and clubs to come together in a friendly competition and to showcase what their organizations consist of. The event was a fun time and an opportunity to learn more about different cultures.

The Language Olympics included Collegia Classica, the Japanese department, the German department, the Spanish club, the K-pop club and the Mahjong club.

The Language Olympics was split into two different parts. The first part included club members competing in long jump, relay race and ring toss events.

The second part consisted of walking around different tables set up with the club members talking about their club and hosting activities. Collegia Classica club Treasurer Ezekiel Aurelius made several items in preparation for the event and helped plan different crafts other club members created.

“I made some foam swords and some cardboard shields for a gladiatorial combat that Collegia Classica hosts,” Aurelius said. “We have one person who can talk about ancient weaving. She has a loom that’s modeled after ancient looms, even though it’s made out of modern materials.”

Collegia Classica Co-President Kellis Montgomery brought the Language Olympics to Augustana as a way to bring many of the smaller and diverse clubs together and to the forefront. 

The club used to participate in the Greek Life Olympics in the fall, but Montgomery decided to create a similar event with the language clubs in the spring. She was later inspired to combine competition with a cultural showcase.

“I went to Monmouth College, and they have a Classics Day where they have a lot of different events and tables that celebrate the different aspects of culture,” Montgomery said. “My event became the Olympic Games and also added a cultural table aspect to it.”

Every table at the Language Olympics had something different to showcase their cultures. You can try on kimonos, have your fortune read, taste different cultural foods and learn how to play Mahjong. The clubs were excited to not only display their contributions, but also to learn from one another.

“It gives us the opportunity to learn more about other countries, their culture, their games and other things. We really want more people to be able to experience it. Like, if someone was nervous about a club meeting, maybe it would be easier to go to something more informal like this,” Mahjong club president Maddie Lange said.

Overall, the Language Olympics’ first year went very well. It was very fun going around to check out the tables and watch the clubs compete. I’m excited to see the Language Olympics back next year.