DISCLAIMER: The following article is an April Fools’ Day article. Though it may relate to real people or events, it is not factual.
The trials for the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are just around the corner, and one Red Hawk from Montclair State is hoping to fly south for the summer, achieving his dream of becoming an Olympian after years of training.
Rocky the Red Hawk, best known as the beloved school mascot of Montclair State University, has qualified for the Olympic trials in many sports, including basketball, boxing, table tennis and competitive tic-tac-toe.
Most athletes dream of competing in the Olympics from a young age, and Rocky was no different. Even before he flew the nest, the hawk could be seen touching his talons, flapping his wings and, of course, practicing his pose for the champion’s circle and the inevitable birdseed endorsements which he would undoubtedly gain as an Olympic gold medalist.
However, turning a dream into a reality was not as easy as Rocky thought. After a lackluster performance at the trials for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the hawk decided to turn his underbird story around, undergoing an intense fitness and nutrition regimen in order to prepare for his performance in the upcoming trials.
Rocky’s training so far has mainly taken place at the Student Recreation Center, although he sometimes can be found in the Panzer Athletic Center swimming laps in the facility’s pool or practicing free throws with the women’s basketball team.
“Rocky’s training routine starts with a brisk jog, followed by extensive wing and beak workouts,” said his personal trainer Mickey Goldmill. Goldmill also noted that the bird has recently been able to tone his tail, but refused to explain how he achieved this result, commenting that Rocky doesn’t want to give away all of his secrets to success.
An anonymous source, however, told The Montclarion that much of this new-found success may be attributed to Rocky’s workout playlist, which maximizes results in the avian’s physique with inspring, powerhouse songs like The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” and R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Beyond rigorous physical activity, however, Rocky has changed his diet in order to shape up for the summer games. He has cut gummy worms entirely from his meals and now only consumes free-range, organic worms, which he swears really show results.
Despite this intense lifestyle change, Rocky will still face tough challenges during the trials, which will be aired on NBC.
Rocky will go up against Billy the Bear, Roscoe the Lion, Shadow the Blue Hawk, Talon the Osprey, and Rocky’s biggest competition, the Scarlet Knight, in the trials.
When asked about what strategies he plans to use to combat these competitors, Rocky said, “Caw caw ca-caw caw caw.”
“We’re very excited about Rocky taking part in the Olympic Trials,” said Goldmill. “He has spent so much time working up to this moment. For him to succeed after coming this far would not only be the ultimate payoff for him, but also put Montclair State on the map and be a moment of true Red Hawk Pride for the campus community.”
Just making it to the Olympics is not enough for Rocky, though. With a bronze hawk having already made his presence known on campus, Rocky won’t accept anything less than gold.
Only time will tell whether Rocky will make the grade or will have to wait until 2020 for his next shot at Olympic glory.