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Never mind the Olympics - here's the Alternative Games

Jul 9 2012 Posted by Laura Canning

If you’re getting sick of the Olympics before they’ve even started, you’ll probably like the idea of the World Alternative Games, to be held as an antidote in Wales from 17 August – 2 September. Or as they’re on after the Games proper, you could go to both – although we do think the alternative ones will be more fun.

There’ll be worm charming, chariot racing, backward running, bathtubbing championships, stiletto racing (we’ve been there), gravy wrestling, wife carrying and more, all held around Llanwrtyd Wells in Powys, where the organisers explain there are ‘competitors who are just as dedicated to their unusual sports as their Olympian counterparts’.

There are also events for kids, such as Pooh Sticks and rock, paper, scissors comps, and a properly international flavour with a French themed day including a French cockerel throwing competition and French cheese rolling. The ‘normal’ annual events in Llanwrtyd Wells, such as the World Bog Snorkelling Championships and the Man v. Horse Marathon, will be part of the Games too, and there’ll be plenty of other stuff going on including Welsh cultural events, a music festival and a giant pub quiz.

The idea for the Games came about after it was announced that London would be hosting the Olympics in 2012 and local folks decided to commemorate it in a particularly Llanwrtyd Wells way.

‘It was noted by those who organise the curious and sometimes downright bizarre events in Llanwrtyd Wells throughout the year that the Olympics was, well, rather mundane,’ say the organisers. ‘Running, jumping, cycling and swimming are all very well, but they are hardly what someone might call unusual.’

We think it all sounds tip-top. If you want to go along, we have camping options nearby – Riverside Caravan & Camping Park charges £11 per night for a non-electric pitch with no extra fees for awnings, pup tents, gazebos or dogs (electric hook-ups are available for an extra £3 per night). Or there’s Lower Porthamel Organic Farm at Talgarth, which has non-electric pitches for £14 a night with laptops and phones charged on request. Just don’t forget your stilettoes.