The Much Wenlock Olympic Games

By | Category: Travel rumblings

On sale today go tickets for the 2012 London Olympics. And you have only 499 days to wait for the events. Or you could opt for the true Olympics, those held in the Shropshire village of Much Wenlock. It is 160 years this year since the first games were held there so beating those other ones to be held in London next year by at least 40 years. So important are these games that London Olympics has called one of their mascots ‘Wenlock’ in honour of the village.

The advantage of going to the Much Wenlock games is that they only last 3 days and you’ll be unlikely to be assailed by high hotel rates or touts trying to sell you overpriced tickets. Nor will you pay a fortune for opening and closing ceremonies. You will have 14 different sports that you can enjoy including cricket and five-a-side football, neither of which has made it into the modern Olympics yet. With some events anyone can enter. Just turn up on the day in July.

Unlike the modern day games, the truer version as followed by Much Wenlock combines sport with the creative arts. Whilst their sporting games are held in July, the arts festival takes place in just under a fortnight’s time. There, over a few evenings and a Saturday, there will be competitions for school age students in music and creative writing. Will the modern olympics follow this lead and contain almost an eisteddfod within the games? There is a cultural Olympiad which brings in performers from all over the world but this isn’t the same competitive approach. Dr William Penny Brookes, the founder of the Much Wenlock games is today remembered as one of the founding fathers of the modern movement and, two years ago, on the double centenary of his birth, there was a great deal of publicity about him. That will be remembered again next week at the Arts Festival and again in July when the 125th annual games will take place.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , , ,