TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - With an events list including mobile phone throwing and the backwards 100 meters, the inaugural “Paddy Games” being held in Ireland in August looks set to break new records -- but not many conventional ones.
The organizer of the event, Irish lawyer and former elephant polo world champion Colin Carroll, has invited Olympic champion Usain Bolt to run the backwards 100 meters at the games in Cork on August 14 but the fastest man in the world has yet to respond.
Carroll, 37, has spent several years planning the “Paddy Games.” A previous attempt to stage the event was thwarted in 2008 when Olympic officials objected to Carroll calling the contest the “Paddy Olympics.”
“Olympic officials got their knickers in a twist over us stealing Beijing’s thunder,” Carroll told Reuters in a phone interview to announce the launch of the 2010 Paddy Games.
“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) got uptight and thought their athletes would defect to our Games. An angry letter from the IOC did put the willies up me but they can’t shut us down.”
Instead Carroll repackaged his event by dropping the word “Olympics” and replacing it with “Games.”
The Paddy Games will consist of 25 sports, including backwards and blind-folded sprints, mobile phone throwing, even an “inter-species” relay race -- which the rule book, written by Carroll, states “shall comprise two humans and two land animals.”
Carroll, whose claim to fame was winning gold for Ireland at the 2005 world elephant polo championships, said: “We will also have a donkey vault and strait-jacket wrestling.”
Carroll has always had a penchant for more non-traditional sports.
In 2006 he tried to become his country’s first wrestler at the world sumo championships but had to sign a death waiver first due to his pint-sized frame.
An avid camel racer, the publicity-seeking Irishman has also popped up in previous incarnations in a boy band in Poland and the Irish bobsleigh team in Latvia.
Despite the setbacks along the way, Carroll has vowed to continue pushing the Paddy Games, cheerily declaring the Olympic movement a fossil.
“The IOC has lost their way,” insisted Carroll. “True Olympic ideals are embodied by the Paddy Games. The Olympic Games is passe. Get over it. Backwards is the new forwards!”
Editing by Belinda Goldsmith