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Chug of war: It's the Beer Olympics

When it comes to athletic competition, a beer belly will usually hold you back. Unless that competition is the Beer Olympics.

In March, Gaspar's Grotto in Ybor City held its inaugural Beer Olympics, a series of five inebriating events. On Sunday the pub will host the second of what general manager Brian Bosco hopes will become a quarterly contest.

Like the upcoming Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, the Beer Olympics will begin with someone singing the National Anthem. There's also a referee and a point bracket system.

That's about where the similarities end. At the Beijing Olympics, 10,708 athletes will compete in 302 events for pride, honor and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. At the Beer Olympics, 12 groups of five will vie in five popular pub games for barfly booty. March's winner was Team FSU.

Was everyone hammered by the end of the five-hour competition? "It's not ridiculous, but it gets pretty crazy," said Bosco, 25.

Sign-ups for the Beer Olympics have ended, but for the 60 participants and scores of you who'll come to watch and take advantage of drink specials, here's a primer to help you distinguish Olympic spirit from Olympic spirits.

The games

Beijing Olympics: Gymnastics, archery, rowing and the like.

Beer Olympics

• Beer pong: Half-full cups of beer are set up like bowling pins. Throw or bounce a ping pong ball into any cup, and your opponent must drink its contents.

• Flip cup: Teams line up on either side of a table. Each team's starting player chugs a cup of beer, puts the cup face down and attempts to flip it rightside up.

• Up the river, down the river: In this relay race, the amount each player drinks increases as you move down the line.

• Pitcher chug: Each team's top two drinkers share a 64-ounce pitcher of booze, and whoever chugs the fastest wins.

• Waterfall: Out-chug the other guy.

Prizes

Beijing Olympics: Medals, a place in history, your face on a Wheaties box.

Beer Olympics: TBA. Last time they included $100 cash, bottles of rum, neon bar signs and inflatables.

Who's rooting for you

Beijing Olympics: Your 304-million fellow Americans.

Beer Olympics: Two cheerleaders.

Uniforms

Beijing Olympics: Polo Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter.

Beer Olympics: Teams choose their own attire, like matching T-shirts or oh-so-athletic sweatbands.

Entertainment

Beijing Olympics: A reported 10,000 performers for the Aug. 8 opening ceremony, under the direction of filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

Beer Olympics: DJ John on the ones and twos.

Training regimen

Beijing Olympics: Relocate your family to BFE so you can work out with a private coach.

Beer Olympics: "Come in every day and play beer pong," Bosco said. "I would say definitely the beer pong gets the most competitive, because it's the most popular." It's also the tie-breaker, if need be.

Beer Olympics

The games are Sunday at Gaspar's Grotto, 1805 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City, (813) 248-5900; gasparsgrotto.com. Participants register at 2 p.m. Games are from 3 p.m. until about 8 p.m. Admission is free, with $3 rum punch and Budweiser Select specials.

Chug of war: It's the Beer Olympics 06/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 30, 2008 11:37am]

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