Ice Fishing Olympics Crowns 2004 Champions
Category: press release
Jan 19th, 2004 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jan 19th, 2004 at 12:00 AM
Brainerd MN – The 3rd annual On Ice Youth Olympics were held in conjunction with the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000.0 Ice Fishing Extravaganza, January 17, 2004 on Gull Lake in Brainerd, MN. Over 200 young Olympians competed for over $5000.00 in prizes during the 3 hours of competition. This unique, ice fishing turned timed sport, has many young people, and their parents excited about ice fishing, and already in training for 2005.The On Ice Youth Olympics were developed by WildSide of Walker, MN to introduce young people to the sport of ice fishing in a fun, friendly-competitive spirit. The contestants are timed through a 10 station, 150 course of simulated ice fishing activities. From getting dressed, drilling a hole, removing slush, jigging a lure, reeling in a fish, stopping for lunch, setting tip-ups and finally throwing all your gear in a sled and sprinting home, the course takes participants through a day on the lake. And, with the course set-up on the ice at Gull Lake there was plenty of exciting action as young ice fishing enthusiasts slip, slide their way through the course.One of the more unique aspects of this competition is that it amazingly resembles the “real Olympics”. Complete with opening ceremonies before the competition begins with the playing of the national anthem, lighting of the On Ice Olympic Flame (Coleman Lantern), and the releasing of pigeons for peace on earth and fair play amongst Olympians. From there each contests name, age and hometown is announced by Emcee, Pro Angler Tommy Skarlis, before they attack the course. A large part of the interest and success of the 2004 On Ice Olympics could directly be related to the Olympic Trial events held across the upper Midwest at Mills Fleet Farm stores leading up to the actual On Ice Olympics. All told over 1000 young people took part in the Olympics and Olympic Trials. Every participant received a “goodie bag” from event sponsors as well as Awards were given to the fastest 3 finishers in 4 age categories. Prize packages included an Official On Ice Olympic Medal, StrikeMaster Hand Auger, Carhartt Jacket, Coleman Tent or Sleeping Bag, Berkley Rod & Reel, Lindy Tackle Pack, Northland Tube-it Tackle Tote, Beckman Tackle Book along with some other assorted goodies. Chip Leer of WildSide summed up the event by saying: “It s wonderful to see how excited the kids get about the event. I particularly enjoyed how proud the young people are of there personal performances and the fun they have with each other”. The best example may be at the end of the $150,000.00 Brainerd Jaycee Extravaganza when the 1st Place finisher was being inundated by press after winning the Ford Pick-up, one young Olympic champion squeezed his way right to the front of the press interviews and proclaimed “Hey, I am a Champion too does anyone want to interview me”.Olympic Results: Division 1 (8 Years and younger) 1st Nathan Ofhman, (age 8) 1:12, 2nd Isaac Hanson (age 8) 1:13, 3rd Jose Spry (age 8) 1:20, Division 2 (9-11 Years) 1st Blake Wieman (age 9) 0:45, 2nd Taylor Gapinski (age 10) 0:54 3rd Travis Dubois (age 11) 0:55) Divison 3 (12-14 Years) 1st Chris Dons (age 14) 0:45 2nd Andrew Heald (age 14) 0:47, 3rd Erin Weiss (age 12) 0:49, Division 4 (15 years and older) 1st Derik Reinking (age 16) 0:41, 2nd Mario Livier (age 17) 0:46, 3rd Nate Fritz (age 15) 0:47.