I have been excited for these ever since the closing ceremonies in Beijing in 2008. Haha, I love the Olympics! Winter and Summer. But let's be honest- as someone with a blog called "Swim, Eat, Repeat", you know I prefer the Summer Olympics. I mean, mostly, it's the fact that for once people care about swimming. And 5 of the Team USA swimmers are from the MD/DC area. Woot! I just love following the swimming heats, semis and finals. I got absorbed watching trials, and now I'm even more excited for the real thing!
So, to honor the USA, athletes everywhere, and the Olympic tradition, I decided to host an Opening Ceremonies party. I invited about 50 people. Yes- to my 1 bedroom apartment. I figured the more the merrier, and wanted everyone to be as excited as I was. Well, of course not everyone could make it, (phew, cause I didn't entirely know how I was going to host 50 people in my place!) and I ended up with around 20 people helping me ring in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London! And celebrate we did!
To help drum up excitement, I asked everyone for two things. They had to pick their favorite country and 1. bring a food to share representing their country, and 2. wear something to honor that country as well. These were up to very loose interpretations, and people were allowed to pick their favorite country based on what they wanted to wear or bring. So- you want to bring chips and salsa? Mexico can be your favorite country for the night. And the clothing requested was also up to loose interpretation. Dress up in the flag colors, traditional garb, your favorite athlete from that country, a typical citizen of the country... Mostly, I wanted something for people to get excited about if they didn't necessarily care about the Olympics. I was also hoping this would be a great conversation starter between my different groups of friends from high school, college, swimming, etc. Win win. I hoped these rules wouldn't deter people from attending, but like I said, I was just hoping for another fun factor to the party. Who doesn't love a good theme? Honestly.
oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! I had used that recipe before, just made them a smaller cookie. This time, I made the larger cookies though. You know why? I was going to make a gold medal for everyone to take home with them. A cookie wrapped in gold foil, with a ribbon attached. Are you seeing just how much I love the Olympics? I really do love the Olympics.
poster to add some ambiance to the party. I envisioned a backdrop to a photo-op area. But alas, it was sold out by the time I got my act together. Well, unless I wanted to order it framed and $100 more expensive. That hadn't been my plan. So I lamented to my sister, Patti, who had been on top of things and had already ordered several of the artistic Olympic posters to display in her apartment (my family really loves the Olympics), and not 2 days later at work, I had the other half of the poster she had cut up to fit into a frame she already had!! I was so excited, and had a perfect frame in mind already that would fit some of this other half! The poster added some much needed class to my dollar store decorations... I bought two of those stars- one for the table, one for the front door, so that everyone would know they were at the right place :-)
I don't know why I was so worried. My friends brought it. And then some. Starting the morning of opening ceremonies, I started getting texts and emails saying what they were going to wear and bring. It made getting through work pretty difficult, let me tell you. Mostly because- success!! People were excited about Opening Ceremonies! Or maybe just the excuse to party... but there was excitement regardless! So I got home from work and put the finishing touches on my cookies and cupcakes.
I made a ton of buttercream frosting.
People filed out as the night grew later, some people waiting to see a certain country, or some just needing to get an early start the next day. Whitney, Liz and I were the only ones left to see USA parade in. I had dressed up in a similar outfit to theirs.
Thank you friends! For showing up, having a great time, and starting the Olympics off right!
I have had NBC on my tv non-stop since. Did you see my boy Ryan Lochte dominate that 400 IM? Yep, I had called it (see the last paragraph). Go Lochte! Go USA! Go Olympics!
Call Me Maybe- USA Swim Team Edition