The Battle of the Sauls: an Olympic Tale of Tallness
by Claetus Underwood | published Apr. 4th, 2014
The Gordon Field House was filled wall to wall by spectators hoping to view the opening ceremony to the Modern Greco-Roman Olympic Games, held at RIT for the second time since the organization’s creation in 1903. As the flame lit the field, the RIT Olympic team marched in with bagpipes a-blowing, trading their standard orange and brown stripes for the rustic RIT Brick Red. This year, the team was led by Tall Saul, one of the competitors in this year’s most anticipated event: the Gladiatorial Arena.
The Gladiatorial Arena, where student competitors are pitted against each other in vicious and deadly trials, was removed after SpiRIT the tiger mascot was skinned alive when RIT first hosted the games in 1964. The sudden comeback of the event is thanks to a surprising challenge from a competitor from the South Henrietta Institute of Technology (SHIT), RIT’s most resilient competition in the games for decades. Not wishing to be out done by RIT’s Student Government President, explorers from the SHIT set out across the globe to find a Saul that was indeed taller and more Saul than Tall Saul could ever hope to be.
By no coincidence, SHIT’s Olympic Team was led by Taller Saul, said to eclipse Tall Saul by over an eighth of an inch and to have only a first name. Things heated up quickly as the SHIT Tigresses crowed the field in their yellow-red and dark tan stripes, ready for the games to begin.
RIT and SHIT paced each other throughout the early events, as RIT took the Gold in Longboarding and Scooter Racing for the first time in Olympic history. When asked to comment, President Wrestler cited the nonstop training on the Quarter Mile for the students’ success in these events.
On the fifth day of the games, the Gladiatorial Arena had begun and the Sauls met face to face for the first time. With new revisions to the rules, the Arena consisted of five Trials of Tallness, beginning with reaching things from high shelves and ending with reverse door hurdles. Once the trials are completed, the victor may have first choice of weapons in a Coliseum Battle Royale.
Near the end of the reverse door hurdles, it seemed that Taller Saul might have had victory in his hand until a surprising last minute sprint by Tall Saul pushed him in the lead. Having chosen a simple Sword and Shield as his weapons, Tall Saul strode to the middle of the field. Not to be outdone, Taller Saul selected a Tall Sword and Tall Shield to serve him in combat – the ancestral arms of his people.
The battle began, sword to tall sword at near blinding speeds with sounds of thunder and clashes of lightning breaking through the air with each meeting. Their movements were calculated and precise, so much so that the Sauls seemed almost evenly matched, but the wear on Tall Saul was obvious: if he wouldn’t end the battle soon, it may have been his last.
As everyone began to think that, just maybe, taller was better, the two warriors each called upon the Great Saul, patron saint of Tallness for the speed to land one last blow. Tall Saul took advantage of the superior height of his opponent, ducking Taller Sauls swing and stomping on his toes. SHIT’s warrior collapsed to the ground, and just like that, Tall Saul proved that no Saul is too Tall or too Saul for him to conquer. “Those who are tallest,” he said there in the fields of the arena, “have the furthest to fall.”
He paused, breathing in the crisp Rochester air, brandishing his sword. “Except for me. Vote Tall Saul and Dick.”