Westminster Y hosts own Olympic games

The 'Round the World Y'Lympics at Westminster's Y of Central Maryland may not have been as successful or attended as the 2016 Summer Olympics, but those who made it to the center were granted an evening of family fun.

Only a handful of families ended up attending the Westminster event, which is being held simultaneously at centers across the Y of Central Maryland. During the evening, the center offered a craft station where children could make their own family flag, and a competition center when children could compete in a long jump, high jump and a short race. In addition, McCormick spices, sponsor of the event, held a station where children could learn about the spices of the world.


Program manager Adam Martin said the organization had a few more activities planned, but the evening's dangerously hot and humid weather forced them to relocate inside, scuttling planned races and archery competitions. Martin said these kinds of activities are vital for the families in the community.

"It's fun to have a time where a family can come together," Martin said. "Nowadays, it's hard with everyone going in their own direction. It's important that families spend time together. We like to put an emphasis on togetherness here."

The Hochheiser family of Westminster is one that has no problem with togetherness. Each and every Friday the group, including mom Kattie, dad Brandon, their children Eliza, 2, and Audrey, 1, and Brandon's grandmother Diane, get together for a family outing.

Diane said they try to change up what they attend every week, be it dinners out, car shows or get-togethers at the Y. Kattie said as soon as they saw the email about the Y'lympics, she knew it'd be a great idea for the group.

Audrey and Eliza competed at the high and long jumps together, though Audrey had a little trouble making her body leave the ground. The two also raced each other, grabbing colored bean bags at the end of a hall and running back for more. After some brief, but fast and furious activity, Eliza demanded her prize — not a gold medal, but a snack.

Back at the Make a Family Flag station, Jonah Hardick, 6, of Eldersburg, was hard at work creating a celebration of his family. Jonah said he was busy making a rainbow flag. The rules behind the rainbow flag were that he had to use every color marker once, without any duplicate marks on the final flag.

With some help from mom and dad, Jonah stapled the paper flag to a bendy straw and paraded it around the Y. He said the whole family has been watching the Olympics, and that his favorite sport was the one with the gigantic bugs where people were climbing the walls.

It took a minute of confused looks from his family, but Jonah soon realized he was describing Rio's opening ceremony.