The Eighth Page

“Frankie Say Relax”

After much controversy, the small community of long-bearded men that makes up the International Olympics Committee announced this week that the controversial Stress Exhalathalon will become an official sport at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Although many anthropologists have questioned the consequences for the health and the morals of the athletes who play this sport, the Exhalathalon has gained something of a cult following in much of Europe and Asia, as well as in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference.

The Exhalathalon consists of six events, with a range of awards including Venti, Grande and Tall. The fixture begins rather lightly with the “grumbling” contest: each contestant is given exactly two-and-a-half minutes to kvetch as effectively as they can. Contestants’ proficiency in this event is measured by the number of words per minute, divided by the quality of their exaggeration.

The competitors then face off in a narcissistic duel of extra-curricular activities, known as the “joust.” They alternate in excruciatingly detailed explanations of their duties within their respective clubs, community service projects and societies, one on top of the other until the loser is rendered speechless.

Finally, in the ultimate battle of stamina and persistence, the athletes take part in a sleep-deprivation exercise called “somnis.” With its name dating back to a similar ancient Roman contest, the effort to stay conscious can often take days and is widely considered the most grueling challenge of them all.

In addition, Andover has announced with great honor that it will be sending two of its own students, Miso Tyred ’15 and Joe Nescaffé ’15 (heir to the Nescaffé fortune), to compete in the Exhalathalon.

Tyred said, “You know, I honestly can’t think of any other place that would have prepared me better than PA. The competition, the environment, Upper year, the opportunity to practice everyday and the inspiration of everyone around, create the perfect athlete for the Exhalathalon. Even though I made the team, I’m not even a whole lot better than the other kids in my classes—I just feel very blessed that God gave me the gift that I have, and I’m approaching it as if it were just a game.”