As the Olympic Games are an epic event, only happening once every four years as summer or winter games, and involving more than 200 countries throughout the world, they are cause for a more-epic-than-usual celebration. Celebrating the Winter Olympic Games is a great way to bring people together out of the cold, and what better way to take advantage of the summer weather than by throwing an outdoor Summer Olympic-themed party?
The Olympic Games
The first Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Greece, from 776 BC to AD 393. The games were revived in Athens in 1896, and have been regularly held ever since. The modern games are held every two years, with summer and winter games alternating. They are regarded as the foremost sporting competition in the world, and, as such, they are a great honor to the country that is chosen to host them. Each host country is responsible for setting up the Olympic grounds, and for the opening and closing ceremonies.
China’s opening ceremony at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing was spectacular, and the world eagerly awaits the upcoming games to see how the opening ceremony will compare. You and your friends won’t want to miss the upcoming opening ceremony, and having a few Olympic competitions of your own will make your Olympic Games party an event to remember for years to come.
Finding an Olympic Party Theme
The Olympic Games are an international competition, so it’s always fun to celebrate the culture of the nation that hosts the games. The 2008 Olympics in Beijing were a great excuse for a Chinese-themed party, and the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, had Olympic party-goers enjoying maple syrup-infused party fare and Canadian whiskey drinks. The 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, mesh perfectly with traditional British pub grub like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, or bangers and mash, along with cocktails featuring British gin or classic British ales like Newcastle or Bass Pale Ale.
Research the host city and consider its customs, food and drink, and other discerning qualities to make your party seem like it’s held on location at the Games. Consider printing the Olympics mascot on your invitations, as well as on napkins and other party fodder. Other themes like international sport competition or memories of past Olympic Games can add further dimension to your party decorations and plans. For example, you can ask each guest to come dressed as a different country, and ask them to bring a dish from that country. Then, guests can take turns guessing which country everyone represents. Of course, choosing a theme that celebrates your own nationality can be a fun way to support the home team, too.
As the Olympic Games are a truly international event, you can never go wrong with international decorations like multiple national flags or a banner featuring the iconic Olympic rings. Of course, to support your home teams, it doesn’t hurt to feature the flag of your own country more prominently than the others. Stick tiny flags to cocktail sticks for Olympic-themed drink stirrers.
You could decorate the walls with pictures of past or present Olympic greats. Many photographic images of Olympic athletic heroes can be found online, and it can be fun to see if your guests can recognize them all. For an especially dramatic touch, you could use an Olympic torch as a table centerpiece. Either make your own using sculptural materials such as Styrofoam blocks, plaster of Paris, or metal, or buy one online. If you have the budget, you could even use a real Olympic torch from past Olympic Games.
Getting the Party Started
No epic Olympics party would be complete without some good-natured competition. Start off by sending Olympic party invitations to your guests. In the invitations, ask your guests to RSVP, indicating whether they want to be a referee, judge, spectator, or competing athlete. When all of the responses are in, you can organize the athletes into teams based on different nations. Have them dress the part with national team jerseys or face paints to really get into the fun, or use world flag stickers for name tags to indicate which team they’re on.
The Outdoor Party
Set up an outdoor event area, complete with a table for food and drinks, a BBQ grill , seating for the judges and spectators, and tiki torches or outdoor lights to provide a festive atmosphere at night. You can also decorate the outdoor event area with flags for each team, and set up a few events in the backyard based on your guests’ particular skills or athletic leanings. You could order a few burlap sacks for an unforgettable sack race, invest in a bow and arrow for a thrilling (if slightly risky) archery event, or maybe just snag a jar of pickles for a pickle-eating contest if that’s more your guests’ speed. All kinds of real Olympic events can be scaled down or approximated using items available around the house. You can substitute a softballfor a shot put, use foam Nerf swords for fencing, or use a water noodle as a javelin. For a winter party, consider hosting a backyard sled-riding competition, or snowball fight.
When your guests arrive, let the games begin. If your party is scheduled during Olympic events, you can either have the competitions before the televised events or during commercials. Let your guests compete for the gold while you cheer them on. You can award the winning contestants with real Olympic medals or ribbons, in addition to extra refreshments. For example, if your guests are chocolate lovers, hand out chocolate Olympic medals to event winners.
The Indoor Party
After the outdoor events are complete, it’s time to move the party indoors for more food and drinks, and to watch the Olympic events. An Olympic Games party would not be complete without a party-sized TV to display the televised Olympic events, bringing you and your guests up close and personal with the games. Have your guests place friendly bets on their favorite Olympic athletes, and use Olympic-themed party fare for prizes.
Once the party is moved inside, the competitions can continue with Olympic video games, featuring Olympic events such as tennis, boxing, golf, and archery. You can also have your guests compete in a traditional indoor Olympic sport like Table tennis or ping pong, as well as the popular party variation of the game, beer pong. While darts are not yet an Olympic sport, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a fun way to compete with your friends and family. There are even some national flag darts available to make the competition more Olympian. Many Olympic sporting events have been ingeniously adapted to indoor use. For example, instead of playing real soccer, you can set up a tournament with a foosballtable. Likewise, an air hockey table can bring the aggressive, fast-paced fun of hockey indoors. Many electronic shooting games exist, both for game consoles and as stand - alone arcade games, so your guests can show off their marksmanship skills without blowing holes through your walls.
How to Buy Your Olympic Games Party Supplies on eBay
eBay can be a great source for creative and unusual party supplies at extremely affordable prices. Many authentic pieces of memorabilia from past and present Olympic Games can be found by navigating to eBay’s Sports Mem, Cards and Fan Shop; clicking on the Fan Apparel and Souvenirs subcategory; and, finally, clicking on the Olympics subcategory. Another category rich with Olympic Games items is Collectibles, which contains several subcategories, such as decorative collectibles for party decorations; barware for Olympic shot glasses, beer steins, and other great ways to serve your Olympic party drinks in style; historical memorabilia for authentic decorations from past Olympic Games; and many other fun categories. The party supplies to be found on eBay are only limited by your imagination and creativity.
However, if the results of your search are overwhelming, you can refine your results by using the filter options at the left of the search results screen. Items can be filtered by category, condition, price, shipping options, buying options, item location, and more. As with any purchase, make sure to check the item seller’s feedback score, shipping options, and buying options. Many sellers are marked as eBay Top - Rated Sellers, which means they have an excellent history of providing service to buyers by shipping quickly, providing accurate item descriptions, and receiving consistently good feedback. These sellers may provide free shipping or local pickup options.
The Olympic Games are the perfect opportunity to bring your friends and family together for a fun and exciting night of patriotic celebration and international exploration. Whether you want a party full of active, competitive games, or just a fun sports-viewing get together, you can put together a themed event to celebrate the Olympics in style. With the help of fun party supplies and authentic Olympic Games memorabilia, you can have the honor of throwing a gold-medal-winning party at your home.