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Sports Column: Sketching out plans for Mississippi’s Winter Olympics

There is snow in the forecast late this weekend. In some places, they call that “Tuesday,” but here in Central Mississippi it’s special.

When we get our 1 or 2 inches of snow once or twice a year, we take the time to enjoy it. Tiny snowmen are built and family snowball fights are had as school and work gets put on the back burner for the 24 hours that the snow stays on the ground.

Having lived through my share of major snowstorms in my younger days up North, our storms here are the best of both worlds. It’s rare enough to be appreciated, but not so heavy that it sticks around and becomes a nuisance. Snow days here are like a winter carnival, and as such we should celebrate while we can with our own version of the Winter Olympics.

The 2021 Mississippi Winter Olympics will start Saturday at local grocery stores with the 400-meter bread and milk run. Collect as many food staples as quickly as you can while showing complete disdain for your fellow humans. Knock grandma over for the last half-gallon of milk. Kick a shin for a dozen eggs. Risk life and limb by climbing to see if there’s one last loaf of bread hidden on a top shelf.

As the storm arrives Sunday night, the action shifts to the local roadways for the 10-mile icy commute. Navigate slushy interstates on balding tires without losing traction. This event is timed, however, so don’t slow down for a second. Safety is for chumps.

The main day of competition is Monday, in the immediate hours after the storm. Downhill sledding is a medal event. Participants receive points for speed, distance and avoiding grass stains — and broken bones — from patches of turf that aren’t completely covered over with snow.

Figure skating will be canceled since the temperature is forecast to be in the 40s, but will remain an exhibition event as people find icy patches here and there and pull off some fancy moves before plummeting to the ground.

Since it is still Mississippi, football in the snow will be contested. First team to 10 touchdowns wins — or the first one that realizes diving into cold, wet snow sounds more fun than it actually is and goes inside for a while, loses. Whichever comes first.

The closing ceremonies are Tuesday morning, when the temperature rises a bit, the snow starts to melt, and we all feel a little sadder. By Wednesday all we’re left with are memories, until the next Mississippi blizzard hits. It might be a while, so let’s get out there and enjoy it while it lasts. I hear it’s already snowing in Rolling Fork.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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