Carmel Winter Games 2022


Ryan Zhang

Q&A with Brad Osborne, Event Manager for the Carmel Winter Games.

What are the Carmel Winter Games?

Winter Games are actually two parts. One part is the Hero Olympics, which is the Carmel Police Department taking on the Carmel Fire Department. And there are three events that will be held both Friday and Saturday. The Friday (event) is the Hero Olympics and the Saturday being the Carmel Winter Games are teams of people that maybe work together, maybe they’re neighbors, maybe they’re part of a club, or a church group or something like that, but it’s teams of four to 12 people and we have three on ice events, not skating events, but on ice events. There’s the ice trike relay, which is a relay of four members of each of those teams, racing against two or three other teams. And then there’s the human curling. What we do is we put people on intertubes and they’re pushed into a circle and the circle is like a bull’s eye. And then the next team comes along and they can either try to push that first team out of the circle, or just work on their best spot and whoever has (more) points (which) are scored based on where they land within the three rings of the circle (wins). And then we have human Hungry Hippo, which is (based on) a game that is played at tables, but this one is human Hungry Hippo where somebody on an inner tube is pushed into the center with all these plastic balls and they have a laundry basket and they’re trying to try to capture as many balls with a laundry basket as they can. And then as soon as they’re ready, there’s somebody that pulls them back to a bucket. The bucket is filled with the plastic balls and after two minutes, the team that has the most balls at that point wins the heat. Then there’ll be a second heat and if there is a tie, we keep going until we don’t have a tie (and the) first team to two heats win.


When did they start? 

2019 was the first one and we had (one in) 2020 and then in 2021 we did not have one. But we had the games at the end of February in 2020 and that was like the last event that happened outside here for a long time.


Why are these games important?

Opportunities for team building. Opportunities for adding every bit of the registration money that we get (which) goes to the Carmel Food Pantry. So with the proceeds we get from registration, that money goes to the food pantry so they can keep building on that. But the purpose of the game is to have more fun in the community, so that we’re creating memories. I would periodically run into people who did the 2019 games and they would talk about how much fun it was to be a part of that. They’d tell whoever’s standing next to us about how much fun it was. Life is a series of memorable moments and so that’s what we’re doing. We’re creating opportunities for people to share great times together.


Are there any differences this year compared to the previous years?

Well, every year you do something, you can always think of some way to make it a little bit better. We’ve probably done a better job on our rules this year than we did last year, or the previous years. And (it’s) not significantly different from previous years, but one of the things that we do since it’s been since 2019, we keep reviewing our notes and figuring out what we can do to make it better each and every year.


How are you guys preparing for this event?

We have some winter only equipment. Like we have these large trikes and we have these large inner tubes and so we’re gathering those and making sure everything’s in good condition and they’ve been in storage. We’re going to have it all ready to go when the police department and the fire department square up in the Hero Olympics.


Who’s welcome to come?

Everybody. This would be so much fun. Whether it’s a Friday night date for young people like CHS students or whether it’s something to do that’s different on Saturday. And we hope the whole community comes out and sees how much fun that people are having and next year they’ll want to do a team themselves. And it’d be great if we had (more) teams. We have the capacity for more. I would love to see people from all sides and Carmel coming together and having a great time. 


Meg Osborne, Event Manager for the Carmel Winter Games.

What are the Carmel Winter Games?

They are a bunch of fun games for the community for people to be outside during the winter, get some exercise, have some fun, build some team spirit, unity (and) family outlets. We’ve got mascots from 1 to 3 p.m. for kids. And we have our kid zone and the Carmel Winter Games people put together teams of four to 10 people. And then they’ll compete in a tricycle race, a human curling race, and a human Hungry Hippo race.


Are there any differences this year?

Not really. We did have to cancel tonight, the Hero Olympics, because of the rain we were having and now it’s a beautiful blue sky. 


What has been done to prepare for these games?


We’ve gathered teams. We have an Eventbrite we set up for people to sign up and register. The registration fee goes to local food pantries and it will be donated to that. We’ve worked on fliers and publicity and promotions and getting the equipment ready and decorating the great ice skating rink. We have black and white flags all over the place. It’s quite festive.


Who do the local food pantries that you mentioned support?

Families in the common community that are in need of help with food and supplies. Like I know the Carmel United Methodist Church has a food pantry. I believe our Lady of Mount Carmel has a food pantry. Yeah, there’s two more in carnival but I can’t remember which ones.


Why were the games started?

Just to have fun for the community and to do something in the winter and to use the ice skating rink. Not everybody likes to skate, so Carmel Winter Games are an event you don’t have to skate. You can be out in your tennis shoes. We have these small cleet things for the bottom of your shoes. It’s just a way for everyone to be able to come out, get some exercise, have some fun and build team unity.


What kind of activities do competitors do?

They’ll have a tricycle race, then they’ll do a human curling which is on an innertube and then they’ll do human Hungry Hippo, which is on an innertube trying to collect colored balls with laundry baskets.


Are there any prizes involved?

Every participant gets a medal, a Carmel Winter Games metal. And then the winning team gets gold medals. And there is a traveling trophy for the Carmel Fire Department and (Carmel) Police Department.


What is there for spectators to do at this event?

Kid zones and it’s sponsored by their Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council. There’ll be mascots from 1 to 3 p.m. for kids and that’s all going to be sponsored or partnered with the Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council. There’s a coffee and hot chocolate place (and) there’s a drink concession stand place.


Could you describe your experience at one of these games?

It’s just a lot of fun. Everybody laughs and smiles a lot. I’m sure. They’re all having fun. It’s chilly, but it’s fun. It’s fun when you see people in the human curling and they’re in the middle of the bull’s eye, and they get bounced out and they go up in the air and they come down and they’re innertube is gone. Everybody’s really having a good time.