5th ITER Games break all records
"The more, the merrier" was the word of the day during the most recent edition of the ITER Games, held on Saturday, 12 September in Vinon-sur Verdon. This fifth edition broke all records by attracting more than 400 people, with 300 taking part in one of the eight athletic contests that were organized by the sporting clubs of the two towns closest to the ITER Project—Vinon and neighbouring St-Paul-lez-Durance.
The ITER Games, a friendly competition between people working directly or indirectly for the ITER Project and local inhabitants, is all about spending a nice day outside, meeting colleagues and their families, and having fun.
With that in mind, this year's Games had been organized in such a way as to have sporting competitions in the morning, with the afternoon reserved for family activities.
Some athletes had an early start: at 8:00 a.m.—just as the sun was appearing through the rain clouds—80 players were already on the football pitch warming up and the first tennis matches were about to start. Meanwhile, another crowd set off for a 6 or 12 -km cross-country run or—in the new event of the year—a 20-km trail run. Kayaking is another discipline that has grown quite popular, despite the fact that some of the 32 contestants were dunked into the ice-cold water of the Verdon River by the strength of the rapids.
The afternoon activities were less demanding. Forty-five children participated in a giant treasure hunt throughout the village, while some of their parents tried their hand at the local sport, pétanque. The most original activity the fifth edition, however, was "bubble-foot"—a variant of football played inside of giant, individual bubble costumes, where bouncing up against the opponents becomes the hilarious purpose of the game.
Having fun is the name of the (ITER) Games and, this year again, that goal was very largely accomplished.
Looking for clues hidden in the village that will lead to a mystery treasure.
Body language is what matters when one plays pétanque, the quintessence of Provence's popular culture.
Even EDF, the French national utility provider, was in the loop of the ITER Games and had opened the dam upstream to make sure there was enough water in the Verdon River.
Better than in the Grand Canyon!
When the players literally become the ball...
ITER Organization Director-General Bernard Bigot (far left) and Agence Iter France Director Jérome Pamela (second from right) congratulate the winners of the 6 and 12 km cross-country run.
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