London’s got nothing on us: New Life Olympics 2012.

Olympics, New LifeSince our TV is rarely on except for movie nights, some New Life Foundation folks were experiencing Olympics withdrawal.  That’s when Ciaran came up with the brilliant idea for our own New Life Olympics.

So the official Olympics was formed–Ciaran (Ireland), Josh (USA) and Izzy (Australia).  And the games began.  At opening ceremonies, Ciaran carried a bamboo torch and announced that people from all over the globe would shed blood, sweat and tears in the pursuit of glory.

Olympics, New LifeThe opening event was the Egg-in-the-Spoon race in our gravel driveway, easily won by Thai volunteer Koh. This was followed by a triple line-up:  Badminton, Olympic Rock-Paper-Scissors, and Arm Wrestling.  As the day progressed we played all the best games:  Rock Throwing, 100-Meter Sprint, Javelin, Shot Put, Relay Race, Long Jump, Breath Holding in the swimming pool, 3 K Lake Race, Frisbee, Team Boules, and Table Tennis.

Throughout the afternoon, undeterred by rain showers, residents, volunteers and staff members battled fiercely.  In press interviews, the competitors claimed to have been training for years and were certain to snag a win for their home countries. The event wrapped up with a milk drinking competition.  Kling, a staff member, downed a gallon in five minutes.  People are still wondering how a Thai beat out the hearty milk-drinking Westerns, when diary is not part of the Thai diet.  New Life co-director Julien Gryp took a gold with his teammates in the relay race.

Olympics, New LifeWinners of each event received their chocolate gold medals at a closing evening ceremony and stood proudly on pedestals for applause. Throughout the night, the audience (including a Nepalese Lama who just finished conducting a meditation retreat) eagerly awaited the announcement of overall winners.  Taking the pedestals to rambunctious applause were

Gold – Josh  (USA)

Silver – Dan (Wales)

Bronze – Lee (England)

Women’s Gold – Ellen (Belgium)

Josh and Ellen were presented with chocolate cakes bearing their home country flags.  The top four also received one-of-a-kind hand-printed New Life Olympics tee shirts.

Over cake, we all agreed the Olympics was one of the best events ever at New Life and that it should become an annual event.  So make sure you’re here next summer and join the fun.  You too could bring home a yummy gold for your country.


3 K Lake Race

1.  Lee (England)

2.  Dan (Wales)

3.  Ciaran (Ireland)


1.  Dan (Wales)

2. Kling (Thailand)

3. Zulu (Hungary)

Arm Wrestling

1.  Ciaran (Ireland)

2. Josh (USA)

3.  Dan (Wales)

Relay Race

1.  Andy (USA), Julien (Belgium), Sarah (England) Zulu (Hungary)

2.  Josh (USA), Riana (The Netherlands) Julie D. (Belgium), Josh C. (Wales)

3.  Ciaran (Ireland) Benjamin (Thailand), Lee (England), Kling (Thailand)


1.  Josh (USA)

2. Dan (Wales)

3. Lee (England)

Breath Holding

1. Josh (USA)

2. Julien (Belgium)

3. Andy (USA)

Long Jump

1. Josh (USA)

2. Dan (Wales)

3. Zulu (Hungary)


1. Josh (USA)

2. Kling (Thailand)

3. Josh C. (Wales)

Shot Put

1. Andy (USA)

2. Josh (USA)

3. Kling (Thailand)

Team Boles

1. Dan (Wales), Lee (England), Anya (Switzerland)

2. Sara (England), Josh C (Wales), Andy (USA)

3. Lien (Belgium), Kling (Thailand), Bryn (USA)

Egg and Spoon Race

1. Koh (Thailand)

2. Dan (Wales)

3. Ellen (Belgium)

100 Meters

1. Lee (England)

2. Dan (Wales)

3. Josh C. (Wales)

Table Tennis

1. Zulu (Hungary)

2. Josh C. (Wales)

3. Dan (Wales)

Milk Drinking

1. Kling (Thailand)

2. Ciaran (Ireland)

3. Josh (USA)