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Former Redneck Olympics Under Way In Maine

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File photo of the olympic rings (Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images)

File photo of the olympic rings (Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images)

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HEBRON, Maine (AP) - Despite being forced to changes its name, the event formerly known as the Redneck Olympic Games continued its tradition Saturday of holding unorthodox competitions like lawn mower races, mud runs and tire burnouts.

A full day of events was on tap during the Maine Redneck “Blank” Games. Organizer Harold Brooks changed the name under pressure from the International Olympics Committee, but noted that “everyone knows what the ‘blank’ stands for.”

Friday’s events included a wedding and a demolition derby. Other events over the weekend included bobbing for pigs’ feet, toilet seat horseshoes and a greased watermelon relay race.

The idea behind the event, Brooks said, was to have what amounts to a great big outdoor picnic and pig roast for hardworking people who’ve earned the right to blow off some steam.

Being a redneck, he said, isn’t about living in a trailer, or getting drunk.

“A redneck is someone who works hard. They say their neck is red because they work outside. A redneck can make fun of himself and have a good time,” said Brooks, who’s a general contractor.

The Redneck Olympic Games kicked off three years ago. But the name was changed after the International Olympic Committee came after him, telling him he couldn’t brand his event as an Olympic event.

That still doesn’t sit well with Brooks because he doesn’t think anyone should own the rights to a word.

“The word was around before they were around,” he said, pointing to the Olympics’ origins in ancient Greece. “If they want to complain, then they should have the Greeks call and tell me to stop using it.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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