Let’s Get Some Chariot Racing All Up In Here

Dana Thompson

illustration: Ariel Carter-Rodriguez

After spending most of my natural life as a music nerd, I’m excited to learn more about and support the sports played here at Whitman. I’m coming to understand that I have more in common with jocks than ancestors in central Africa. My only qualm with the athletic program here is that it seems to be missing a few crucial sports. Let me lay them down for you:


Did anyone see this at the Olympics?? Cross-country skiing with periodical shooting stints? Ridiculously cool, and good practice for those Whitties who choose to try their hand at surviving in the Arctic Tundra after graduating (which, statistics show, is somewhere around 83 percent).

Chariot Racing

When did this die out? I don’t understand. After watching “Ben-Hur,” I couldn’t think of anything else besides getting my hands on a chariot and a hot-blooded steed. Just picture a fleet of chariots with the blue and yellow WC painted on the side. Just. Imagine it.

The Balloon Game

Played with an air-filled balloon and no net, this game is typically an unspoken but nationally accepted birthday party tradition. The only rule: Don’t, under any circumstances, real or imagined, dire or peachy keen, let the balloon touch the ground. Heads will roll.

Don’t Step in the Lava!

Another derivation of a childhood game, this traveling team sport has practical applications rather like biathlon. The members could have meets at active volcanic sites and move through dangerous and life-threatening obstacle courses (what fun!). International finals are always held in Pompeii, where everyone feels really quite awkward about it.