On Saturday 4th August, we hosted the first ever Berlin Slowlympics – and boy was it a lot of fun.
We were admittedly anxious about the weather forecasts, half of which promised rain and thunderstorms – but as it turned out we had the opposite “problem”: hot, blazing sun almost all day long.
Thankfully there were lots of beer tents and shade umbrellas around, though most of the guests and participants seemed content to sprawl out on the sidelines and enjoy the rays (including many Brits who kept up with tradition by forgetting sun cream).
The games got underway late since most teams failed – inevitably – to meet the 11am team briefing appointment. Extra points were accordingly given for lateness, plus an additional two points for one team who got entirely lost (it is a big park though).
There were a lot of hangovers present, not least amongst the Slow Travel Berlin team, who were up until the early hours “testing” beer and inventing last minute games such as the Horizontal No Hands Muffin Eating competition and the One-Legged Flummi Keepie-Uppie With Shoe contest. You can imagine how much we laughed at the time.
In the end, all 18 teams did show (we think) and it’s really down to their enthusiasm, great costumes and consistent sillyness that the day was so much fun.
So a BIG thanks to everyone who entered plus a massive congratulations to the Top 3 teams:
Tempel Sloths (1st)
Sloths & Snails (3rd)
A huge Vielen Dank too to all the local companies who were kind enough to give us so many nice prizes that we managed to give every single contestant something for their efforts. When you consider there were almost 100 contestants that’s quite something!
IC! Berlin, Crumpler bags, Krake Festival, La Maison de L’entrecote, Computerspiele Museum, Shakespeare & Sons, Finding Berlin, English Theatre Berlin, Chipps, i + m Naturkosmetiks, Caffeinated Toothpaste, C/O Berlin, Jolesch, Berlin Art Parasites, Pieces of Berlin, Berlin Film Society, DDR Museum, Panoramapunkt, Thyme Supperclub, Dialogue Books, Erased Tapes, Cafe Hilde, Erste Sahne Otivm and Hudson’s Cakes, who not only baked the amazing edible medals for the winners but also helped out all day long too (thanks Katie!).
Big shout outs to the refs and fellow organisers on the day too — Zaren “scoremeister” Courtenay, Brian “trilingual” Melican and Kevin “sailor” Braddock — and to Barbara Braun, who worked hard behind the scenes to get us some prizes but sadly couldn’t make the day. And to Horizontereignis for creating some great and special activities for all the kids present.
Thanks also to the people at Tempelhofer Park and Die Spiele In Berlin, whose lovely Olympics screenings area will be open right through until the Olympics end next week.
Last but not least, a big cheers to the finest and best-named van driver in Berlin for helping us with all the equipment on the day: Jean Claude Van Man.
Of course it wouldn’t be a properly silly event if the organisers weren’t forced to join in, so here’s STB founder Paul Sullivan being spontaneously prompted (thanks Kevin) to perform a Silly Walk Demo (thanks to Jennifer Haack for filming it).
Long live the Python!
(ps: we will be making a post on the Better Place donations page soon to show clearly what all the money was spent on – cheers to all those who contributed).
To read more about the day and/or see more photos, check out these articles in the Berliner Zeitung (German), the Tagesspiegel (English and German) and also a broadcast on Radio Fritz with Brian Melican.