Wimbledon may have resorted to a shiny new roof, and the Ashes might get postponed every time a drop of water descends from the heavens, but despite Saturday's dismal weather the 1,000 people attending the wet Chap Olympiad maintained a stiff upper lip and carried on regardless. Back in its native Bloomsbury, the event was this time a ticketed affair, and those without were restrained by bouncers on the 2009 side of the fence, whilst a be-costumed crowd revelled in the spirit of inebriated gentility and Anarcho-Dandyism on the other.
The Olympiad began with the lighting of the 'Olympic Pipe', which was then passed around the contestants in a saliva swapping frenzy rarely seen in these swine-flu stricken times. Events commenced at a leisurely pace thereafter, featuring staples such as the Cucumber Sandwich Discus and ‘Bounders’, as well as new events such as the chaotic and highly entertaining Umbrella Jousting, in which two brave cyclists, protected only by broadsheet newspapers, attempted to unseat each other using umbrellas. In the spirit of journalistic research Londonist gamely attempted the Hop, Skip and G&T, and can report that we displayed an athletic ineptitude of which our readers would certainly be proud. An exceedingly entertaining commentary heightened the hilarity of these events, and those who didn't want to watch the action were kept amused, and well lubricated, by music and refreshment stands around the square.
Whilst the event itself was as fun as ever, and the more structured programme was a welcome change from last year, we did observe several negative developments. Many complained at the confiscation of their pre-packed drinks, and, given the entry fee and Bourne and Hollingsworth’s bar prices, we could see their point. It also appeared that the two hosts had sold more tickets than their preparations could cope with, as many supplies ran out and some competitors were unable to enter events that they had signed up for. Sadly however, we reflected, as we removed our panamas and set off back into the real world, one probably can't have everything...
By Caroline Roddis. Photography by Zaspic