Not to be outdone by our wonderful Team GB in Rio, we hosted our own Olympic Games last week to raise money for the
Wiltshire Air Ambulance, our charity of the year. We started our Monday with a variety of Olympic styled events, and a healthy level of inter office competitiveness.
The Games kicked off with the rubbish bin shot put, an office twist on an Olympic event, which can be compared to the ever popular mobile game Paper Toss. Each competitor gave it their best shot (at the bin); miss and you were out, with the distance increasing each round. A tense game, full of pressure and skill saw a few athletes falter at the first hurdle and fail to produce their best on the big stage. Paul Wojciak however, became the first gold medallist of the games and gave team R I/O an early lead in the medal table.
Event number two was the Olympic trivia, twenty questions to test the team’s Olympic knowledge. Unlike most sports this required no physical activity and presented medals to all but one competitor. With the pressure building for the teams, competitors were exiled from their team mates to compete in this non spectator sport.
Nick Gray brought a gold medal back for the finance team to put some pressure on the leading media team, however with R I/O getting a joint silver medal, they finished the day second behind the day one leaders. Sales Sharks rounded off the top three to leave Minnican’s minions without a medal to their name at close of play on day one.
Day two brought us the popular Javelin event. Teams were given 5 minutes to create their flying machine and then given three attempts to deliver their best flight with the furthest distance covered. The event started with the participants creating their “planes”, a group of supporters on hand to offer encouragement and critic where they saw fit, which led to some flying machines looking more Titanic than Concord. The heats then kicked off rather bleakly with many athletes failing to beat the well-known Olympic obstacle … THE DOOR. However R I/O’s Charlotte Summers astounded the crowds by not only managing to fly through the door but by setting a new distance record!
The final event of day two was Finger Skating. An event designed to test the typing skills of the offices most elite athletes. With plenty of trash talk and hype surrounding the event, it was guaranteed to be a heated affair. It did not fail to deliver.
Joe Swinn set a benchmark of 86 words per minute. The trouble then arose when a member of Sales Sharks tried to gain an unfair advantage by using her own keyboard. This was quickly shut down by the governing body. Finishing fourth was not in the Sales Shark’s plan, and after the event the athlete in question, Jessica Lepore couldn’t resist another go, off the record, where she outscored her fellow competitors away from the crowds, and couldn’t hide her frustration. KJ and the Castaways brought home the gold medal.
The half way stage of the competition sees R I/O in first with 2 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze. Other teams hot on their heels, with 2 more gold medals up for grabs, many teams could still take the lead.
Archery kicked off day three with a Nerf gun, dart board and 7 athletes. An event lacking the precision of goal line technology got off to a flying start with the board being hit regularly! The scores on the other hand were awarded by the referee, and as usual many supporters disagreed with the decisions. The winner was a cool, calm and collected Ben P from the Dream Factory. The hostile atmosphere did very little to distract Ben from the task ahead. With a gold medal needed to close the gap on the disappearing R I/O, like any true Olympian, Ben delivered.
In what many saw as the 100 meters of the Equilimpics, the beerless beer pong event would go down on a sunny Wednesday afternoon; in the boardroom 7 teams would meet and take on a classic game of beer pong for the chance of eternal glory and their name to be written in the equimedia history books.
Round one saw Sales Sharks Philippa Dunn annihilate PPC’s Jamie Prictor in outstanding fashion. Minnican’s Minions very own Richard Peirce outperformed the best efforts from R/IO’s Gemma Farley, which saw him take a spot in the semi-finals. The Sales Sharks dreams came to a brutal end as Minnican’s Minions took their place in the final against Account Management’s Jordan Legge. The final started off as a cagey affair with both teams having some uncharacteristic misses. After a few words from the supporters and as he calmed his nerves, Jordan found some form and put the last few cups away in the dying seconds. It was gold for teAM nAMe and a first medal of the games for Minnican’s Minions!
The first, and last, outdoor event of the week saw the eagerly anticipated Paper Plate Discus. This event started like the other events with some friendly words from all competitors and fans alike. The first two rounds came and went with PPC leading the way, before disaster struck in the 3
rd. Two members of the PPC team brought into the organising committee at the last minute failed to abide by the strict ruling of the governing body!
Some light hearted fun and questionable interference from the PPC boys led to the disqualification of the PPC team from the event, and Chris (who was at the time in 1
st place) forced to give up the gold he had trained for 4 years for. The PPC team have released the following statement:
As a team, the decision to pull out of the competition was a joint one, made with heavy hearts. It’s not something we wanted to proceed with, but we felt we were left with little choice. Understandably we are upset about the decision, however we feel most disappointed in the aftermath and the handling of the situation. We were not consulted or asked to appeal this decision (as we see in any sport these days), in fact there didn’t seem to be any offering of a discussion following our disqualification. We felt as though, the organisers had been influenced by the entourage around them and this, ultimately led to our disqualification. In an ideal world, had it been decided following an appeal process and we were still deemed disqualified we could accept that. We cannot accept rash decisions and we also feel deeply aggrieved that in the ‘official’ announcement of our disqualification our team name was spelled incorrectly. This above all is our reason for removing ourselves from future events; we cannot uphold our dignity and integrity by partaking in such events that do not hold the same values.”
Darren Kyle, The Dream Factory (Ft the PPC Gun Show)
Needless to say, the statement was reviewed by competition officials, but the decision was final. PPC were out!
So with only 6 teams left in the competition and medals still up for grabs it was time for the final event of the week; the synchronised swimming of the equilimpics, aka Charades. After the competitive controversy of previous events, this event was sure to show athletes at the peak of their careers really embracing what the Olympics is about. To the delight of the fans, it did, and we saw athletes jumping, swinging and bouncing their way to the medals. Sale Shark’s Ashley and Philippa appeared on the same wave length, bringing home the gold.
Team R I/O achieved their childhood dreams of an overall Olympic win as they took the crown with an impressive haul of; 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medals. Like every sporting event the prizes were once in a lifetime (Plastic) trophies, much like The Ashes it wasn’t about the size but what they stood for, many now taking pride of place upon winning members desks.
The week saw an array of emotions, with departments embracing the true meaning of team spirit. It was also great to raise money for our chosen charity, The Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
The events certainly highlighted who the fiercely competitive members of staff are. For an equimedia rookie like me, getting to bond with new colleagues on a social level was a great way to integrate myself into the office early on.
The next four years will be dedicated to training, and we hope to see many athletes back in 2020 with more grit and determination than ever.