21 Aug 2014
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Manayunk Brings Back Retired Olympic Sport

After hearing that tug of war was no longer an Olympic sport, Manayunk Development Corporation executive director Jane Lipton decided to bring it to Manayunk.

A few locals helped revive a former Olympic sport and brought home the gold, making their friends, family and coworkers proud.

After executive director Jane Lipton tuned into the radio and heard a list of five Olympics sports that existed no longer, she said didn't even hear the list past the first three words: tug of war.

Her mind flashed back to fond memories of childhood summer camps.

It was then that she decided to bring the sport to Manayunk -- not for the corporation's benefit, but just for fun.

On Monday, five teams came out to to go for the gold. Each team of 10—which were required to have three women among the group—registered for $50. First place winners received, instead of gold, $190. Second place won $60.

But it wasn't just about money. Lipton said she wanted to have the event for the sake of good old fashioned community building and fun—complete with tunes anywhere from Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson, as well as plenty of snacks and drinks.

And despite scratched up hands and being drenched in sweat, participants in the competition felt the event lived up to Lipton's expectations.

Both Roxanne Dinger and Megan Corcoran, whose team assembled of employees lost without nabbing a single best out of three, said they'd do the event again. But next time, they'd wear gloves and have better strategies.

"It's not about strength, it's definitely about teamwork," said Dinger.

Corcoran added: "it's more of a game of strategy. We had some big guys, I thought we were going to blow them out of the water."

Kate Forster said she thinks teamwork is what contributed to the victory of her team—Winnie's Warriors. Forster has been a server at for 15 years and said "not only are we a family restaurant, but we're a family oriented staff."

Forster described her boss's yelling during the competition as "like normal," which her coworkers agreed to.

"We were all pulling for her to make her proud of us," She said.

Winnie Clowry, owner of Winnie's LeBus, described herself as the team's unofficial coach. She could be seen screaming obscenities at her employees during their turn on the ropes -- but all was good natured. She bought them a case of beer after they won.

When it comes to the $190 winnings, Clowry plans to put it to good use.

"Our general manager is getting ready to ride for Livestrong, and I think we'll donate all the money to her," Clowry said.

Winnie's LeBus general manager Pilar Napolitano said "that's great" of the donation. She is required to raise $250 for the ride, but has a goal of $500.

When it comes to a second annual tug of war competition, Lipton said she hopes to make it happen again in the future.

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