2013 ROHOF Inductees
2013 Rural Olympics Hall of Fame Induction Giovanni Simi, Chris Planellas, Steve McCormick and Randy Hall July 27, 2013
Giovanni Simi, or “G” as he is known to friends and family has served on the Rural Olympics Committee since 1982. He has served as a Judge, Safety Officer, Timer, Arena Setup Leader, Protest Committee Arbitrator, Event Starter, and Chairman.
G became the official chairman of the Rural Olympics Committee in 2012 after being the unofficial chairman for many years. G. is one of the original four members of the rural Olympics Hall of Fame Committee. He has also been a competitor in the Model T Race and the Antique Auto Potato Race. As Chairman G. Simi has led the Rural Olympics Committee to renewed popularity and success with creativity and development of new events.
Chris Planellas has competed in Rural Olympics at the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival at least 32 times since 1975. He placed in the top three an extraordinary twenty-four times with twelve firsts, eight seconds, and four thirds.
Chris has partnered with five different teammates, both as the stacker and as the boomer. Chris set the still unbroken record of 3 min. 9.45 sec in 1996 with teammate Jack Alewyn. The Hay Loading Contest began in 1935 with two man teams loading and unloading 64 bales of hay to and from a truck by hand, and has evolved into loading 48 bales onto a truck using a mechanical truck loader and unloading them by hand.
Photos: left is Chris with Al Duncan winners in 1976, right is Chris in foreground with Raymond Juarez winners in 2009.
Steve McCormick became a Rural Olympics committeeman in 1982, same year he first competed in the Mechanical Field Hay Loading Contest and the Tractor Race. Steve has also competed in the Tug of War for the Eastside team. He is also a member of the Rural Olympics Hall of Fame Committee.
Steve has been very active in the development and improvement of the Rural Olympics. In 2006 he created the exciting Tractor Barrel Race, and in 2008 he was the mastermind of the very popular Toughest Farmhand contest. Steve greatest claim to fame in the Rural Olympics, however, is as the Field Announcer which has earned him the title “Voice of the Rural Olympics” since 1999.
Randy began his exciting Rural Olympics career by winning the Model T Race in 1980 with his dad Tommy. He raced the Ford seventeen times from 1980 – 2003 both as the mechanic helping with the “pit stop” tire change, and as the driver.
Hall placed first six times, second seven times, and third three times.
In 1998 Randy and Tommy set the Model T Race record of 2 min. 36.13 sec. for three laps and a “pit stop”. That record was never broken.
Photo: Randy with Christina Ortiz in 2003