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Gentlemen, bounders and cads stage their own 'Chaps Olympiad'

posted 8 Jul 2012, 12:31 by Mpelembe   [ updated 8 Jul 2012, 12:32 ]

Gentlemen, bounders and cads, the elegant and the un-athletic - a dying breed of proper gentlemen in the UK hold the 2012 'Chaps Olympics' in London.

LONDON ENGLAND UNITED KINDOM (JULY 7, 2012) (HUTC) - The eighth annual 'Chap Olympiad' kicked off in Bedford Square in London on Saturday (July 7) celerbrating all things quintessentially excentric about the Britsh upper classes.

An estimated 1000 spectators attended the event where athletes compete against each other in some of the most ingenious, mock Olympic games ever seen for the much-prized title of "Chap Champion".

"Chaps" consider themselves an extraordinary breed of gentlemen who wear horn-rimmed spectacles, listen to music on the wireless, wear smoking jackets, cravats, bow ties and hats as well as giving tips on moustache growing and getting a proper shine on leather shoes.

The whole concept of their games is to pay tribute to a time gone by and make a stand against vulgarity, to celebrate the "gentleman' and the "dandy' and compete in some rather eccentric if not outright silly games.

"I think in some ways it harks back to a golden age, the best of a golden age," said Tristan Langlois, 'Chap Olympiad' Master of Ceremonies. "We don't want to be overly nostalgic about it but an age in which the pace of life was slower, things seemed to matter less somehow, some of the banausic nonsense of the modern world mattered less and the richness of life mattered more, I think that's probably what the appeal is."

During the opening ceremony, the Olympic Pipe is lit and passed around the contestants.

Appearance is one of the most important aspects of taking part and one must look their dapper best.

Events included such activities as - Gentleman's Club Golf - where contestants have to lob a bowler hat into a large fishing net. Butler Baiting - a strange relay where the butler assembles an outfit, Ironing Board Surfing - where a contestant is carried on top their ironing board holding a cocktail which must not spill.

In all these disciplines points are also awarded for panache, style, good humour and the maintenance of an immaculate crease and oddly not for winning.

One of the highlights of the games is the bizarre sport of 'Umbrella Jousting' where two contestants joust at one another on bicycles and attempt to knock each other off armed only with umbrellas.

The weather on the day was typically British, overcast with the odd shower but this did not dampen their enthusiasm.

The event is spread over two days with the accumulated results being pooled to determine which competitor takes 'The Gold Cravat', the Chaps equivalent to winning the gold medal.