A tradition worth keeping
I was pleased to see that WACKO is still alive and well and has even spread to Eagle River High School. It was started in 1978 by Andy Kirk, a longtime social studies teacher and track coach at Chugiak High. He came up with the idea of WACKO when he realized his students would start to “drag” as the dark, dreary winter wore on. Originally he thought to call it just Stupid Olympics, but finally settled on Wild And Crazy Kids Olympics. Oddball events like tricycle races, raw egg toss, graveyard relay and chariot races — where the “chariots” were actually sleeping bags — were competitions between classes. Each year there would be some different crazy events and more and more students involved. Eventually, the faculty got involved and would compete against the kids.
WACKO is not about winning. It’s about sportsmanship, having fun and being able to laugh at yourself. I hope other area high schools will catch on to the great fun and winter buster that is WACKO. Andy’s last request before he died in 1997 was for WACKO to continue. He would be happy to know that it has.
— Jinny Kirk (Andy’s widow)