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Archive for Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lifeguard Games make splash in Lawrence

While the summer Olympics are still over two weeks away, Lawrence plays host to life savers from across Kansas and Missouri for the Lifeguard games.

July 20, 2008

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While the summer Olympics are still over two weeks away, Lawrence played host to life savers from across Kansas and Missouri for the Lifeguard Games.

Eight teams competed in the second year of the competition at the Outdoor Aquatic Center.

The wet and wild Lifeguard Games gave life savers a chance to show off their aquatic abilities.

Events included backboarding, CPR, an active and passive drowning victim, a submerged victim and a first aid scenario.

"Basically, we just do what we normally do everyday, except we get medals for it," said lifeguard and KU student Jonathan Miller.

Erica Nutt took to lifeguarding after growing up around the water on Padre Island, Tex. "I've always worked by the water, things like that. I enjoy it, and also being outside," the KU student said.

The Lawrence Parks and Recreation played host to the games for a second time.

"We just decided that it would be a fun event to do here in Lawrence," said the city's aquatic supervisor Lori Madaus. "We're fairly centrally located for teams to come in. We have a good facility for it, a lot of different activities we can do here."

The home team had some success last year.

"I got second for submerged rescue and we won backboarding as a team," said Miller.

They looked to blow other teams out of the water.

"I was really going for the gold in my individual event and I think I got it," he said.

Nutt thought the team worked as one. "We did very well. We worked well as a team," she said. "We had great communication and thinks like that. We were always very prepared like we are for every single day."

Enjoying the pool is key to donning the red swimsuits.

"It's not really that difficult. You just have to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim," said Madaus. "It's a 30 hour class that we take all our staff through."

But the best part of the job?

"Just working with people," said Nutt. "Being close by the water."

Miller has a different reason. "The tan," he said.

The lifeguarding team from Blue Valley took home the overall gold.

The Lawrence Parks and Rec team got first place in shallow backboarding, first aid and CPR.

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