Let’s Have an Olympics Party!

My wife and I had friends over on Sunday for an Olympics potluck and to watch the finals of the men’s 100 meter sprint. We wanted to do more with our friends than just sit around and watch television (after all, that’s what we’ve been doing every other night during the Olympics) so, in the spirit of the games, we livened things up with a little friendly competition.

There is still plenty of time left in these Olympics to throw your own party. Here’s what we did:

An Olympics party needs medals.

We baked sugar cookies and then covered them in a simple buttercream icing. The key part was the sprinkles. At a restaurant supply store we found gold, silver and brown (good enough for bronze) sprinkles. We completely covered the frosting in the sprinkles.

We wrapped the cookies in clear plastic bags, then tied them off with ribbons.




The best potluck is an open potluck.

Our guidelines were as broad as they could be: “Make an Olympic-themed dish.” I made these traditional British pasties, in honor of the host country. Others made things like “Usain Bolt bites” (sliders with jerk chicken) and Wheaties-coated “chicken con-tenders.” Without any guidance, our guests evenly distributed between drinks, appetizers, main courses and desserts.

The games should have an Olympic theme as well. 

— We traced a bulls-eye on our window, using various mixing bowls and window crayons, then had guests shoot at it with a Nerf gun.

— Guests paired up to see how long they could rally with beach tennis paddle rackets.

— At the end of the evening, everyone voted on their three favorite dishes.

— In the early years of the Olympics, fine art competitions were part of the games. Artists competed in the architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture categories. In a nod to this earlier era, we held a speed-poetry competition. Each guest had 5 minutes to write a limerick or haiku poem, inspired by the Olympics. Reading the completed poems aloud was one of the highlights of the night.

— Every theme party needs trivia, right? We divided our guests by having them draw flags. Team Great Britain bested Romania and Japan. If you want to use our trivia questions, request them in the comments and I’ll post them.

Finally, everyone loves a medal ceremony.

We downloaded the national anthems for our representative nations, so we could play the appropriate anthem when awarding the medals. It was a small detail that tied the whole party together.

  • Robert

    Of course, we, your readership, would LOVE for you to share your trivia questions. Any chance we’ll get to see the speed poetry submissions, or are these copyrighted and destined for the next annual anthology of “Best North American Poetry”, 2012 edition?

  • Jen

    What a fun party idea. I’m going to remember the cookie medals!

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