Are you one of those people who obsessively watches the Olympics?  



I am.  Every two years, I find myself rearranging my schedule and converting our kitchen island into my makeshift office so that I can watch the Olympics.


You would think that my love affair with the Olympics would mean that I am somewhat athletic myself.  Well, other than playing on a softball team when I was 12-years-old, my athletic prowess is rather lackluster.

But, that hasn’t stopped my armchair athleticism from coming out whenever the Olympics comes around.  My passion for the Olympics comes from my mom, who would have my siblings and I watch it when we were kids.  Today, she has made sure that we celebrate it as adults by holding our version of the games.

Summer Olympics 2012

For our last Summer Olympics, we were each assigned to one of four teams: China, France, Great Britain, and the USA.  

This year, we went with the same teams, mostly because we had all the stuff left over from the last time.

Instead of team shirts this year, people looked for other ways to show their team affiliation.  

France

French team captain

Team China (note the Top Ramen noodles and chopsticks in the hair).

My sister decided that she would try ‘cupping’ like Michael Phelps to help her muscles recover faster after each event (not really).

My daughter, Gracie, decided to wear her medal that she won in the Special Olympics earlier this year.

Team Great Britain

As you can see, there was no shortage of fun ways to display our assigned country’s pride.


Last time, I was on Team China.  But this year, I was asked to be an Olympic official, judge, and scorekeeper while my mother ran each event.

My grandson, Eric, was our sole official Olympic observer, because, what’s an Olympics without people to watch?



We began with the Parade of Nations and then gathered for a group photo.


So why were we all gathered today on this hot, summer’s day?

For a chance to win one of these medals.

Let the games begin!


The first event was the ‘Team Captain’s Challenge’, which involved walking as fast as you could holding a mandarin orange on a spoon in your mouth.

I’m telling you; we are very serious about the complexity of our games – ha!


Next, it was time for the ‘High Jump’, which was a kid only event and tested who could jump the farthest off of a step ladder.


Back outside and it was time for ‘Finger Flingers’, which were rubber chickens that you shot off your finger – I think that was the kid’s favorite game.


While competing, we attracted the attention of our friendly, neighborhood police officer.



The ‘Diving’ event involved throwing foam balls into water buckets.


For some parents, it was a particularly anxious time as they watched their children compete, much like a famous U.S. gymnast’s parents?


Indoors again and it was time for the last event, ‘Shooting’.


Using Nerf guns, you had to hit one of three targets.


As many found out, it was easier said than done.


Being an ‘official Olympic observer’ builds up your appetite!


After tabulating the scores, it was time to award the medals.  All were wondering who would win the most medals.


As you might expect, it was so exciting to see the culmination of years and years (hours) of hard work.

Winners of the ‘Captain’s Challenge.’

Winners of the ‘Long Jump.’

‘Finger Flinger’s Winners

The ‘Diving’ event victors

Finally, the winners of the ‘Shooting’ competition
So, who won the most medals?


My 5-year-old nephew, Danny, who could scarcely believe that it was him!


In the last Olympics, he wasn’t old enough to compete.  He has certainly come far in just four years.

We had so much fun that we have decided to hold a Winter Olympic event in two years.  We might expand the number of countries represented and come up with some new winter-themed games.

Do you watch the Olympics?  Have you ever held an Olympics event or party?
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

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