There’s a little event going on in London Town that you may have heard about. It’s the ‘Other’ Olympics – not those far superior games that make up the Chap Olympiad, but the Games of the XXXth Olympiad, also known as London 2012.
It’s fair to say that opinion has been divided around the games. I don’t live in East London, though I spend so much time there that I’m soon to move. Many of those who do live there were dreading the transport chaos that would greet the games, as well experiencing other hassles along the way. And there are plenty who’ve just been thoroughly killjoy-ish about it all. They’re the same people who’ve been boring everyone who will listen (which is not many) about how much they’ve hated the Royal Wedding, the Jubilee and anything else fun that’s happened in the last few years. Whilst still taking full advantage of the free bank holiday though, naturally.
For me, it’s all been exciting. I can’t really fathom how it can NOT be exciting, even in some small way. It’s the Olympics! It’s a huge extravaganza of colour and energy! I can still remember Freddie Mercury and that large Spanish lady singing ‘Barcelona’ in 1992, and how excited I got. And I spend every Tuesday at 1948 (named after the last London Olympics) for Run Dem Crew. It’s a part of our global culture and yes, it’s expensive, yes it’s put a strain on our transport system and all that other boring stuff. But it is still a big, nay, massive, deal. And therefore I was glued to the Opening Ceremony along with the other one billion (estimated) viewers worldwide.
And with the exception of Macca doing the lametastic Hey Jude singalong at the end, I loved every cheesy minute.
I also got up early the next morning to watch the men’s cycling road race, which oh so conveniently passed the top of my very own road.
Lots of locals turned out for the race – from union jack-wearing Brits to members of the large Italian community round these parts…
And after the breakaway group whizzed past several minutes earlier, it was super exciting to cheer and snap the future Sir Bradley of Wiggins at the head of the peloton… even if it was over in seconds. And that was my Olympic action on Saturday. No pictures because I couldn’t EVEN be bothered tohave a shower before I went to watch.
Sunday was a slightly different story though. It was the day I have been waiting for for actual weeks – the one where I got to actually go inside the stadium. Yes! And perform. Double yes! And be silly. YES!
Apocryphal tales of the Olympics brand police had me secretly a little bit worried that ‘The Chap Olympiad’ would be banned, or worse, the magazine sued for spurious copyright infringement. So I couldn’t have been more surprised and pleased when rather than being banned, we were actually INVITED to take part in the Games – by performing at the Olympic Park.
Here’s how it went.
We were escorted by some lovely, helpful Gamesmakers.
the six or so rounds we did!
and posing on the coloured dots and in front of the Orbit.
The amazing hat is by Kezia Argue Designs and lent for the occasion. Perfection! Look out for a competition to win one similar, coming soon.
And, before I get a repetition of my Tuscany photos with a round of, ‘Yes, your dress is niiice…. but Bethan’s outfit is OMG AMAZING’, Bethan’s outfit was OMG AMAZING 😉 – a 40s gree skirt suit with bolero. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate it in its full glory.
It was an amazing day out, and the crowd watching got involved and had fun, asked us about the Chap and went away happy and entertained. This is exactly the aim.
But like the Olympics as a whole, this exercise has also greatly divided opinion among the Chap’s readers, fans and even staff. You can see from the comments left on the website post that the decision to take up the Committee’s offer was not universally approved. There have been multiple criticisms on social media as well – people proclaiming that to refuse the offer would have been more fitting with the ‘Movement’ and that we’d be a laughing stock and point of ridicule. Talk about missing the point. Let me just make something clear…
The Chap is a satirical magazine. The Chap Olympiad is a comedy event. The main people involved in the staging of it, such as the compere and the ‘Foreigner’ in Shouting at Foreigners are actors and performers, either actual or aspiring. The latter is itself a metaphor for the Chap as a whole – poking fun at old conventions and ways of life. There are a lot of people for whom Chappism does indeed seem to be a kind of 1930s upper class character Cosplay (as one commenter pointed out), and the sense of fun about it all is being lost amid the criticism.
Why on earth would we turn down the opportunity to take the Olympiad to London 2012? It was the chance of a lifetime, and I’m delighted to say I have two more chances of a lifetime to be there doing the same thing again, on the 3rd and 4th August – next Friday and Saturday. Come and find us if you’re there and get involved with some real (un)sporting events.
And once again, GO TEAM GB!