There is no sporting event that is more recognisable around the world than the Olympic Games, with its iconic 5-ringed emblem. And so, what better team building games than your very own version of the Olympics, whether it be for work colleague bonding, friends birthdays or even bucks parties .
If you think about organising the event in the purpose of team building within your organisation, the Olympics has all the elements you would want for any team you are managing such as commitment, working for the greater good, and most of all teamwork, be that in team sports or athletes working with their coaches. Whilst we are sure you not expecting any of your team to run 100 metres in less than 10 seconds or set any records for jumping or rowing, there are plenty of benefits to be had.
The first thing to establish is what type of team building Olympic Games you are going to organise. This will very much depend on the type of team you are managing, their physicality, and even their ages. Obviously, if they are a sporting team, or you have team members who are young and fit, then you can have an Olympics which requires high energy and physical effort.
However, if your team is maybe not as agile, you could still have physical games, but which are a bit less taxing on the body. Ultimately, you could have a ‘mental’ Olympics where the games are not physical, but instead require mental skills such as puzzle solving and logical thinking.
The key point is that there is no rule which says your Olympics needs to follow all, or indeed any of the sporting events that you find at the real Olympics. However, you may still want to include some well-known elements of the real Olympics such as:
Countries: You could split everyone into teams and make their first task to decide what ‘country’ they are going be. This should be a made-up name such as ‘Championistan’ or ‘Winnerland’. We know these are awful examples and no doubt your teams will have much better ideas for the names of their countries.
Flags and Anthems: Another task for each team before the Olympics start could be to create their own flag and choose a song that will be their anthem if they win an event.
Medals: For each event, you can aware gold, silver, and bronze medals, and create a medal table that determines the overall winners of your Olympics. At the end of each event, you allow the winners to play their song/anthem and wave their flag.
Once you have decided the nature of your Olympic games then you need to decide on the individual games which you are going to include. Ideally you want at least 8, and the more the better so that every team has a chance to win at least one of the events.
If the games are going to be physical in nature then a suitable outside location will be needed, and obviously, you are going to have to arrange for equipment to be available. Here there are more decisions to be made as it could be that some water activities are part or all of the games to be played. There are companies that hire out equipment and for some activities, you might be able to buy what you need for very little cost.
As for a mental Olympic Games then you could do this online and via a platform such as Skype or Zoom meaning virtually no costs, other than the prizes which you presumably are going to award to the winners.