Just when you thought you were going to have withdrawals from having NO Olympics after watching the competitions on TV for seventeen straight days, we’ve got a little surprise for you: The Weight Loss Olympics are still going strong. And the Closing Ceremonies are set for Tuesday, Sept. 2nd!!
When we last checked in on the Weight Loss Olympics, we actually were calling it by a completely different name -- The Next Great Almost Annual Weight Loss Challenge Invitational Competition – which is awkward and hard to remember, so, being swept up in Olympics Fever like everyone else, we changed the name.
Actually, we’re just 14 fat guys – plus our mascot – trying to win the pot of $1,500 by losing more weight than any other competitors.
It was way back on July 15th that our Band of Big Bellied Brothers kicked off our seven week contest with an official weigh-in, and a lot of boasting and self-promotion. We heard more bragging from this group of Fat Guys BEFORE the competition than we’ve heard from Michael Phelps AFTER winning eight gold medals. If you could believe all the hype we heard that day, you would expect that the group, by now, had collectively lost enough weight to shift the equilibrium of the earth, and slightly knock the equator off its course.
But it probably hasn’t happened that way.
For my part, I have a doctor’s excuse. Plus, being on steroids for three weeks in the middle of the Weight Loss Olympics does not help you drop poundage.
But the other 14 contestants… well, that’s a different story. Actually, it’s fourteen different stories… most of them with great excuses at the end.
While we won’t know for sure until the final weigh-in on Sept. 2nd – the highlight of the Closing Ceremonies – here are some of my personal predictions of the “Leastest Losers”!
Jim Miles – Former S.C. Secretary of State, weighed in at 234.2 at the Opening Ceremonies. Jim has great intentions, but no will-power. Five minutes after the initial weigh-in, he was into the ice cream, setting a new Olympic speed record for quickest “fall off the wagon” start. No chance.
Barry Walker – Irmo Councilman, better known as “Fat Back”, the proprietor of Mac’s on Main, registered a 327.2 at the initial weigh-in. Theoretically, Fat Back should be a contender to Medal in the weigh loss event. But he switched coaches in the middle of the games, and now the Gold appears to be out of his reach.
Bruce Holland – the only lawyer in the group, and therefore the one holding the cash -- weighed in at 238.2. He started off strong in the competition, but let’s just say he “dropped the baton” along the ways. Chance of winning: Nill. Still, he’s the guy holding the cash, so please keep your eyes on him for us.
Lewis Gossett weighed in at a hefty 247.6. The former director of SC LLR, and now director of some sort of hifalutin’ big deal business group, Lewis was considered to be a possible medalist… until the game actually started. That’s when we realized he could never “stick his landing”. He’s out.
Kirk Luther – The defending goal medalist weighing in at 236.2. The reigning champ is the Business Manager and partner in this very newspaper, but was Not Necessarily Expected to Win Again. Still, real champions know how to rise to the occasion even when they appear to be out of the running. Plus, Kirk knows how to drink a bottle of Mineral Oil the night before the final weigh-in. Prediction: Not Necessarily out of the running.
Terry Campbell is an Insurance Executive Extraordinaire who should have been able to calculate his 0% odds of winning. He weighed in at 241.6. Could he have been a contender? Doubtful. But all hope flew out the window when he blew his strategy by confusing MORE EXERCISE with MORE FOOD. It’s a lot like being in the diving competition, and leading off with a “cannonball”.
John Wentzell’s initial weigh-in was a measly 209.4. He has as much business in this contest as Saudi Arabia has entering the Winter Olympics. No chance.
Joe Kennedy started out at 217.8, because he was already down 20 pounds from an earlier weight loss effort. That’s a lot like entering the swimming competition wearing Army Boots. Not gonna happen!
Rod Shealy, Jr. weighed in at 217.6 to start. Junior has joined his dad – me -- in this contest for the third year in row. Like Joe, RJ he seems to have trouble when it comes to calculating the math in a weight-loss contest. If this were a Marathon, RJ would have given out of steam after the first mile of the 26 mile race.
Robert Wessinger started at 251.0, and should have been a contender. But, let’s just he “tripped over several of the hurdles” along the way. When the final weigh-in comes, this current Real Estate guy will still have a little bit of DoNut belly left over from his career as a Lexington County Deputy.
Rod Lorick , of the Cayce-West Columbia News, weighed in at 312.2 to start. He’s a well known golfer who asserts himself to be the Greatest Living Athlete in Cayce-West Columbia. But he also asserts himself to be the winner of this contest. I don’t think so! In fact, Rod’s routine during the Weight-Loss Olympics have inspired a whole new event: Synchronized Buffet Line!
Shirley Towne – Our Mascot, who the guys all fell in love with. As the only female in the contest, we’re withholding the information we share on the others. Let’s just call her healthy… and BY FAR the prettiest person in this contest. But… not a medalist! A lot like the archery contestant who shot the wrong target!
Mike Andrews, the Tune-Up King from Bob Andrews Motors, tipped the scales at 282.4, making him one of the statistical favorites for this competition. But, once again, Andrews got off to a false start. Plus, he splashed his dive entry, swam into the wrong lane, got a little trigger happy on the shooting range, sank his kayak, and tipped the pole vault bar as he was going under it! Additionally, Andrews is known to have the will-power of a gnat, and suffers from the delusion that he still looks like he looked 20 years ago, which -- face it -- wasn’t that great even then, unless there was lots of alcohol involved. Best guess: Mike is well-prepared to start his NEXT weight-loss contest… after actually GAINING weight during this one!!!
Which brings us to the odds-on favorite for the Gold -- Northeast Columbia resident Don Gowrys, better known as the Store Manager of Michaels Arts and Crafts, who initially weighed-in at a whopping 381.2, and has reportedly stuck to a rigorous training schedule during the games. Can he do it? Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint… so watch out for leg-cramps in the last few miles! Our prediction: Going for the Gold.
We’ll let you know how it turns out.