Host An Olympics Theme Party

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If you love sports, competition, or just want a great excuse for a party during the summer, an Olympics-themed celebration is a great way to get friends together, watch some of the most dedicated, trained and competitive athletes in the world, and have a lot of fun. With 26 different sports awarding medals in the summer Olympics, there is sure to be at least one event of interest to everyone. Some of this year’s sports include:

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Beach volleyball
  • Canoe Slalom
  • Cycling
  • Hockey
  • Shooting
  • Triathlon
  • Weightlifting

Send invitations out at least a week ahead of time, preferably two. Since the Olympics run for two weeks, you have quite a bit of latitude in deciding what day and time to host your party. Many people like to watch the opening ceremony, or perhaps you particularly want to watch a certain event. Plan your party to coincide with your favorite part of the Olympics.

To emphasize your theme, consider asking guests to come dressed in their athletic best. This can range from serious to silly, with some showing up dressed in their softball team uniform or running gear, or others wearing colorful leg warmers and Spandex, circa 1980. Give a medal for the silliest and best outfits.

Go Casual With Food & Drink

The combination of summer and sports is a perfect mix for a barbecue or other casual menu. If you plan on firing up the backyard grill, your menu can include:

  • Hamburgers
  • Chicken
  • Hotdogs
  • Steak
  • Grilled Vegetables
  • Corn on the cob
  • Baked beans
  • Potato salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Rolls
  • Fruit salad
  • Desserts

Your desserts can easily take on Olympic flair. Bake up a few batches of cupcakes, and use food coloring to tint frosting in the Olympic colors of blue, black, red, yellow and green. You can do the same thing with sugar cookies or even by carefully frosting a single cake.

Have plenty of water on hand, along with lemonade, soda or other nonalcoholic beverages. Beer is the drink of choice for a casual barbecue if you want to serve alcohol. Consider giving a nod to the hosting city by offering guests some popular drinks and food from the country.

Olympic Activities

For at least some of your party, guests will be watching Olympic events, so if you’ve been playing with the idea of buying a new big-screen TV, now is the time to do it. Make sure there is enough space in your viewing room for guests to sit comfortably and at least a table or two for holding food and drinks.

You can’t celebrate a major sporting event by just sitting on the couch, so plan on holding some games in the yard, especially if there will be several children at your party. Set up some simple Olympic events of your own, including:

  • Long jump
  • Races
  • Olympic torch relay race – paint the cardboard roll from paper towels to act as your “torch,” and form a flame from orange and red construction paper
  • Frisbee toss
  • Tug-o-war
  • Egg toss
  • Three-legged race
  • Hula hooping
  • Horseshoes
  • Javelin toss – use a pool noodle
  • Gymnastics – have everyone make up his or her own floor routine. Kids will especially love this.

Be sure to have medals to hand out to the winners. You can find gold and silver medals at any party shop.

Decorating For The Olympic Party

Have fun decorating to create a festive mood. Bring the feel of the Olympics to your home with some of the following decorating ideas:

  • Flags of the world hanging from banisters, the walls or railings. Be sure to have plenty of American flags on hand for guests to wave as they root for their country.
  • Latex balloons in the Olympic colors of red, blue, green, yellow and black. Let the balloons drift up against the ceiling in your television room for color that won’t get in the way of viewing.
  • Use any sporting gear you might have, such as tennis or badminton rackets, balls, helmets, dumbbells, or hockey gear to create athletic displays in the yard or corner of the room.
  • Use poster board in the Olympic colors to cut out large rings, and use them to decorate your serving table.
  • Choose paper plates, cups, utensils and tablecloth in the Olympic colors, or stick with red, white and blue.

No matter what country goes home with the most broken records and winning medals, you can throw a gold-medal party of your own to celebrate the Olympics, and the good times to be had when friends and family come together.

Last Updated: August 1, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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