COVIDlympics Qualifiers: Yallow struggles with last-second mistakes

Undisciplined bong hit hurts rookie’s chances

This was Max Yallow’s first COVIDlympic Games and he has quickly found out that this is nothing like the amateur circuit. Graphic Joey Bruce

Jan. 21 marked the day Canada nearly saw an incredible performance by 18-year-old Max Yallow.

Fresh off the amateur circuit and a promising Canadian talent, this was Yallow’s first COVIDlympics and his first qualifying round of the Games. 

At the beginning of his run, we saw Yallow enter his front door, kick off his shoes in a half-second—almost a qualifying record—followed by an impressive shedding of his jacket, tuque, and gloves. As per regulations, the tuque and gloves were stowed inside the jacket but in his trademark style, Yallow managed to throw the jacket onto the hook. With his signature jacket throw, he doesn’t need to waste those precious few seconds putting it onto the coat rack that has tripped up so many others. 

Following his entry into the front door, we saw a flawless strip to his undies. Managing to shed his t-shirt and jeans—with the added obstacle of a belt—before he even hit the couch. In an unprecedented display of skill, the crowd saw Yallow take off his socks during his jump onto the couch. It's not unique for athletes to jump onto the couch, but what makes Yallow special is his coordination. He got his socks off his feet and into his hands during the jump. Once on the couch, it was easy enough for Yallow to toss his socks into the laundry hamper, an excellent opening all around.

Next came the hard part, picking a streaming service and show. As per qualifying rules, there are the big three streaming services for athletes to choose from: Disney+, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Yallow, with his characteristic show-off attitude, went for the much more user-unfriendly Amazon Prime as he maneuvered his way through the menus to The Boys.

With the show underway and Yallow slouched in his underwear, the opening sequence was complete. It was an incredible feat of human physicality, the way he mindlessly scrolled through Instagram while still watching, how instinctively Yallow skipped through the intro and credits, his top-tier loafing was really a sight to see. After having successfully made it through three episodes, we saw the next phase. 

Yallow’s time-shaving entry tricks and style points were crowd pleasers but the next few minutes were critical. While keeping up with The Boys, Yallow began to order food. In a display that sent the crowd into raptures, Yallow managed to look through not one (qualifying minimum), not two, not three (the podium standard), but four fast food restaurants on UberEats before ordering. 

"You know, ever since I was a kid, me and my pops used to watch Mike Jones on the TV, every time he was on, he's always been a huge inspiration for me," Yallow said after his qualifying run. “I mean, he’s the GOAT and I would be doing the sport a disservice if I didn’t give it my all.”

Finally deciding on a Big Mac combo with a 20 piece McNugget side order, Yallow ordered his food and knew his run was almost over, with a great qualifying round behind him. 

Avid followers of this sport will remember that your run is finished as soon as the food is eaten. Yallow’s food was ordered, he was in the home stretch. Now he had to compete for maximum points. Players compete for points based upon how much of their respective vice they can use before the food arrives. Some players use tobacco to keep them awake, although it should be noted that this play does impact their appetite, thereby making it harder to successfully finish their food. 

Alcohol is a widely used vice, this is a solid middle-ground for most players since it does make the athlete more sleepy, but often it paces their performance to make sure they keep stamina throughout the run. Yallow’s choice was a good old-fashioned bong. Weed has the opposite effect of tobacco, greatly expanding the player's appetite, but with a heightened risk of falling asleep. 

This was Yallow’s fatal mistake. 

It's important to remember, this was a qualifier for COVIDlympics medal round, with Yallow looking to set the bar for both himself and Team Canada. He started off well with his spectacular opening and steady pace throughout the opening round. It was only in the second half that his arrogance got the better of him. 

Using his Nike-sponsored bong, Yallow took a bowl every 10 minutes, with three between episodes. This was an ambitious pace to set for himself, he was not just trying to qualify, he was setting the pace for the podium itself. 

Flying through another episode, his phone buzzed with the UberEats notification: his food was on its way. 

In an uncharacteristic display of sloppiness, Yallow lay down. He moved the pillow from behind his back to under his head while he kept watching The Boys. To make matters worse, he stopped scrolling through his phone, only watching the TV. 

It was only a matter of time now as the crowd held its breath.

After 15 minutes, disaster struck. Yallow was asleep, with his food left at the front door. The episodes kept playing but Yallow was disqualified that round. 

Yallow woke up to a torn McDonalds bag on his front porch, the raccoons had finished his round for him. Yallow has three rounds to qualify for the COVIDlympics, but this first blunder certainly did not set the pace as he was aiming for.