‘We didn’t come here to make friends. We came to win medals.’ – Leah Sandamas, 2012
And win medals we did. One for each of us, the gold glistening in the evening sunlight as the union flag was raised and ‘God Save the Queen’ sounded brightly across the fields of North Yorkshire. Ok, there was no flag or anthem but, in our collective consciousness, this alternative Olympiad was the pinnacle of our sporting achievement. It was a far, far better thing that we did that day than we’ve ever done before.
Organised by Pearson and Associates to raise money for Martin House Hospice, the event was an opportunity for teams from around the Broughton Business Park and beyond to demonstrate their prowess in such activities as the ubiquitous egg ‘n’ spoon race, wellie-wanging, a backwards relay and many more. You could be forgiven for thinking that it was all just a bit of fun. You could be forgiven, but you would be wrong.
Cries of “no prizes for second place!” and “losing is not an option!” rang out across the makeshift running track. MD Mags was reduced almost to tears as she brought shame to the green t-shirt in the final of the egg and spoon, and my debut performance as a wellie-wanger left much to be desired. However, a glorious victory in the three-legged race and a series of good results in the other events ensured that we clinched team gold by a clear margin of 14 points (34 to second place’s 20, for the record), met by a round of muted applause and the odd muttering of ‘fix’. It mattered not. We didn’t come to make friends.
The evening was a resounding success, by all accounts, with entertainment for everyone from resident fuddy-duddy David to team mascot and bona fide ladies’ man Benjamin. Friends were made (despite our perhaps overly-competitive nature), laughs were had, and the image of Roger Tempest jogging proudly across the grass clutching a hastily-made Olympic torch is one that will doubtless stay with us all for years to come. We were honoured to compete on behalf of such a vastly worthy cause, and look forward to defending our title next year (we’re not quite sure how well plastic trophies stand up to engraving, but we’re giving it a go anyway).