The sprints that carry life-or-death desperation; the dynamic tackles that inspire the fierce sense of competition; the aggressive heckling and slogan-chanting from the audience; the detonative roars that silence the opposition. At this moment, nothing else matters: the midterms you failed, the increasing unemployment rate, the evasive true meaning of life—let them be forgotten for now. You are here for victory.
The mesmerizing spectacle of sports is enough to ignite the passionate hearts of any college freshmen. That dream of racing the field with teammates, laid aside for the excuse of college preparation, beckons. You find yourself reflected in the determined athlete showering with sweat: the hero whom you once aspired to be. If you are seeking a place to rediscover that buried passion, RC Olympics will be your stage.
If Harry Potter and his friends in Hogwarts had Quidditch games, we Muggles in Yonsei University have RC Olympics. RC Olympics, a soul-stirring drama of twists and turns between the twelve houses of the RC program, is the most cherished interschool sports competition for Yonsei University freshmen. To provide some context, the RC stands for “Residential College”, a prestigious education model that weaves classroom learning with community life by offering various lectures, performances, contests, and social events to participate in. There are in total twelve houses in Yonsei’s RC program, each with its own distinguished theme and culture—Allen, Underwood, Avison, Baekyang, Yun Dongjoo, Yongjae, Muak, Appenzeller, Evergreen, Won Chul, Chi-won, and Cheongsong.
Students train together to claim the throne of the season, which is determined by the overall performance in the following five entries: soccer, basketball, badminton, table tennis and relay. While the teams may not play in a crowded stadium of blinding lights, — with hundreds of reporters directing their cameras and professional commentators analyzing each move— they are fueled by the support and shared enthusiasm of other housemates. The bleachers for Appenzeller have always remained warm with eager Appenzeller residents and its beloved, tireless Residential Master, Professor Chad Denton.
The RC Olympics of 2019 has surely been a theater of excitement, all the way through its closing ceremony held on November 13th at the Vision Hall in Songdo. The ceremony consisted of three phases: the performances of pulsating rhythms prepared by RYU (Rap in da Yonsei University), the glorious award ceremony and the adrenaline-flowing afterparty. Embarking with the congratulatory address from the dean of RC program, the event also hosted plenty of raffles to enrich and uplift the atmosphere of celebration.
While the Yoon Dongjoo house seized the title of final champion, the Appenzeller house—one of the international houses in the RC program— finished as few-points-short second. Below are the interviews conducted with the team coaches and Professor Chad Denton, the current supervisor for the house.
JoonHwa Lee, Basketball coach, Quantitative Risk Management, entering class of 18
What distinguishes your team from all the others?
Definitely teamwork. We had many talented players we could rotate throughout the season but that is not all. We created our own identity. We belong together and the communication enabled us to utilize our strengths and weaknesses to bring out the best of the team. Beyond the sports, we are friends: a bunch of guys who badly wanted to win.
Junsung Lee, Soccer coach, Nanoscience and Engineering, entering class of 18
What was the most memorable match?
In the semifinals, we beat Yongjae house, who was the champion for soccer last year. There was big pressure, but that is what makes the victory even sweeter. We were losing one to zero. Then we came back even with missing the main keeper and striker. The coach had to play the keeper and as it was insane as it sounds, we almost gave up. But the coach relentlessly cheered for the team despite the worst circumstance and that somehow led to our comeback with four goals.
Professor Chad Denton, Residential master of Appenzeller
How do you feel about this achievement of your house?
I am so excited as I have been gladly watching most of the games and I clearly understand how much work has gone into this single cup. As closely I have been with them, I know what this means to them and that also means so much to me.
Do you think these RC Olympics and sports events have a positive impact on students?
Absolutely, I think it’s a great way to have much more balance in life and a good stress relief. I competitively ran the marathon this semester and got to interact with many students which was delightful. I really look forward to expanding the program and I hope next year we can add ultimate frisbee as an entry.
The Appenzeller house would not expect anything less of the success they have cultivated this year as Professor Denton finished the interview with a pronouncement to prospective next year’s competitors: I am expecting even more next year. The pressure is on you, so start training!