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Okanagan College spaghetti bridge champion more than a decade in the making

Rouzbeh Rouzbehani first attempted to travel from Iran for the competition 12 years ago
Students build their structure during the 38th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Competition at Okanagan College on March 3. (Photo/OC)

It was a dream win that spanned time, distance and adversity for the winner of the 38th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Competition at Okanagan College (OC) March 3.

More than 250 students from elementary through post-secondary gathered at OC’s Kelowna campus for the contest to see whose spaghetti bridge would reign supreme.

Students had a chance to work in groups to build bridges on-site during the morning for the team-building competition, while others carefully transported elaborate pre-constructed spaghetti structures from across the valley and as far away as Vancouver.

For the competitor who traveled the farthest, the day yielded a victory more than a decade in the making.

Rouzbeh Rouzbehani first attempted to travel from Iran to OC for the contest 12 years ago. Unfortunately, the political situation in his homeland at the time did not allow him to make the journey.

The bridge he constructed that year would go untested at OC, but he never forgot it.

“I was incredibly proud of that bridge. It held a lot of weight when I tested it, but sadly I couldn’t bring it to Canada to try for the contest. It inspired me to build again.”

Rouzbehani now lives in Vancouver and when he saw that the contest was back after its pandemic-imposed hiatus he jumped at the chance to participate.

His hard work and patience paid off as his build beat the rest in the heavyweight category.

“I am so happy and so excited. I can’t put it into words,” said Rouzbehani. “I’m incredibly proud to be here.”

“Congratulations to all our 2023 winners and participants,” said Rick Federley, interim dean for science and technology.

“We were so impressed by the creativity, skill and determination that students showed in their bridge building. Above all we were proud of the way in which they worked together and showed tremendous collegiality to one another as competitors.”

A full list of the winners can be found on the OC website.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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