15 Ways to Bring the Olympics Home this Summer!
The 2016 Summer Games are almost here! This athletic tradition has brought together the world for hundreds of years, uniting nations with their shared passion for sport.
Just as countries come together to rival for gold, support their teams and admire other countries’ performances, so can you by bringing the Olympics home this summer! Whether you’re hanging out with the family on a summer weekend in August, going on a date or getting together with friends, there are a number of ways that you can incorporate some Olympic fun into your plans.
Don’t just watch the Olympics – be an Olympian! We’ve come up with 15 activities to get you started.
1. Go for a new personal best: Walk around your neighbourhood and set your route. Now time yourself doing 1 lap of your route. This is your baseline. Keep timing yourself and by the end of the summer score your personal best!
2. School’s out, so it’s time to kick it old-school, Olympic-style! Create your own tournament: hopscotch, skipping, four-square, water balloon toss, hula-hooping; so much fun, the kids won’t even think about recess.
3. Golf is back in the Olympics this year for the first time in 112 years. Head out to a local golf course, driving range or mini-putt and go fore it! Or, if golf isn’t your game, try croquet. Ready to make it more competitive? Try the Dead-Ball-Option or Poison.
4. Got a hot date? Make it an active one by going for a bike ride – maybe you can even rent a bicycle-built-for-two! Finish the bike ride with a picnic to add some romantic flair.
5. Let everyone go for gold! Create your own treasure hunt (you can draw pictures for your littlest participants), and let the fun begin. Elevate your play beyond simple hide and seek, by factoring in a fitness challenge. Ten jumping jacks to unlock the next piece of the puzzle; balancing on one leg for 30 seconds gets an extra clue. The best part? The whole team arrives at the finish line together!
6. Don’t sweat it if you don’t have enough players to create your own Olympic basketball team. Grab a ball and a buddy, set up a challenge, and get ready for 21, HORSE, Around the World or Knock Out.
7. Summer and tennis go together like sunshine and fun. Playing with little ones? Enjoy a game of mini-tennis. Do you have a crew on your hands? How about a round of Stinky School Bus? Courts are at a premium? Hit the balls against the wall of your neighbourhood school.
8. Heading on vacation this summer? Spending lots of time down by the lake or at the beach? Turn your daily swim into a synchronized swimming competition. Pair-up and choreograph your best poses and strokes and go for style points!
9. Athletes may need to train and perform regardless of weather, but when Mother Nature isn’t co-operating, here are tips for taking your little Olympians inside. Relay games down a hallway burn off energy and get everyone cheering. Who can push a ping-pong ball with their nose the fastest? Fill a cup using a teaspoon? Pass the ball over and under? And of course, bonus points for coming up with the most inventive team cheer!
10. Jump, Flip, Twist, FUN! Gymnastics has been a part of the Olympics since 1896 and is known as a foundation sport. The core skills you acquire from gymnastics allow you to excel in almost every other sport. Check out your local Gymnastics facility for drop-in options for the kids or adult classes to get in on the action! Or do your own core activities on the floor while watching the Games on TV.
11. Heading to the beach? Bring a volleyball and showcase your serves, bumps and spikes with a game of beach volleyball! Or better yet, join a summer intramural team and commit to playing once a week!
12. Up at the cottage without much athletic equipment? Don’t fret! Pick an island or spot on the lake to swim to and make it your goal to swim there each day. To increase those competitive juices, time yourself the first time and try to beat that time a little bit every day! Or tread water and add a couple of minutes everyday.
13. Need to get from A to B while up at the lake? Ditch the motorboat and take the canoe, rowboat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. Work that upper body while also transporting yourself; you will feel extra accomplished at the end of the ride!
14. Having trouble balancing a social life while also staying active? Suggest hitting up the local tennis court or soccer field the next time you and your friends are planning a get together—combining friend time and physical activity will make you feel like you really can do it all!
15. Water Polo was the first Olympic team sport and was a men-only competition for the first 100 years—get your women together to make up for lost time and organize an ‘Olympic’ water polo team for the summer! This fast-paced, exciting game will be sure to get your heart pumping!
Will you bring some Olympic games home this summer? What other sports-inspired activities can you do with the family?