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Students Graded on Splash and Panache in Scholarship Contest

Erica Wuenschel, winner of the female division, scored a $1,000 scholarship for her flop. Steven Mitchell/ The Denver Post

Sixteen competitors at Denver’s Water World fought for the title of “biggest flop” last week, in a competition designed to help students pay for college. A park spokeswoman, Joann Cortez, told The Denver Post that it was “one of those things you just can’t look away from even if you want to,” as judges measured the belly-floppers’ technique, splash volume, crowd interaction, and, of course, the acoustics of the flop itself. It’s not as weird as that duck-calling scholarship, but it does sound a lot more painful. This is the 16th iteration of the annual annual Water World Belly Flop Showdown.

While most competitors were in their late teens and early 20s, the day’s champion was a grandfather, Paul Salcido, who attends Front Range Community College. He won a $1,000 scholarship, a laptop, and concert tickets. Well done, Mr. Salcido. We hope it was worth the red belly.

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