FBC Olympics 2012 – Hampstead Heath

On a sleepy Sunday afternoon in the middle of Hampstead Heath, 18 members of Finsbury Badminton Club startled onlookers with a sustained display of athleticism that will surely be hailed in the press as the event that eclipsed the so-called “Olympics”.

Egg & Spoon. The Wheelbarrow. Tug. Of. War. Events that strike fear into even the most seasoned of competitors. These were to be no holds barred clashes, evoked by names that, after all, include such brutal, hard-hitting words as “War”. And “Spoon”. The Target Bean Bag Event was, admittedly, less intimidating, but much trickier than it looked. Especially with the wind, and the slope, and that dog that snuck in to slobber all over the beanbags.

Captain Redbeard’s powers of levitation were a significant advantage

The brave 18 came to represent their four chosen nations. These were Team GB, Liechtenstein, Vatican City, and Tuvalu, naturally. In between the necessary bouts of dog-wrangling (to protect food supplies) these renowned athletic nations squared off in a range of events from the 100m sprint, to the piggyback race, to the standing jump, and
the competition was intense from the off – so intense, in fact, that some athletes took advantage of brazen false starts, whilst others resorted to distraction, in one instance a competitor apparently “forgetting” their belt and dropping their trousers.There were many highlights throughout the events, but the following list of ad-hoc awards recognises a few of the most memorable moments (in no particular order):

  • Most Spectacular Wipeout: Jamie (50m backwards sprint)
  • Most Tender Embrace: Mark W & Pete (three-legged race)
  • Biggest Air-Time: Tina & Rowena (tug of war)
  • Most Unorthodox Technique: Anita (wheelbarrow race)
  • Best Multiple Wipeout: Laura & Rachel (three-legged race)
  • Best T-Rex Impression: Pete (string & block race)
  • Best Teeth-Gritting: Wlad (tug of war)
  • Most Painful Injuries: Juliana (blisters) & Jamie (shoulder/back) & Wlad (groin)
  • Best Face Plant: Jun Li (sack race)
  • Most Exciting Finish: Rachel & Juliana (string & block race)

The fierce competition was not without cost, and injury ultimately reduced the island nation of Tuvalu to just two functioning members, who nevertheless fought on and bravely battled their way into last place. In the final standings, it was team Liechtenstein who emerged victorious, their ruthless quartet made up of Mike, Conor, Juliane and Jun Li.

Gracious in defeat, the other nations applauded their victory, cursed them under their breath, and plotted revenge via the hard graft of egg & spoon training camp.

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