How to Host an Olympics Opening Ceremony Party

I have never met a person—sporty or not—who doesn’t love to watch the Olympics, or at least the spectacle of the opening ceremony. There’s a collective energy that swirls around the games, gathering up the attention of everyone in its path. Something about the rarity of the occasion paired with global participation inspires the kind of fanatical viewership and rabid patriotism that’s temporarily mind altering. In a good way. And if you’re a smart host, you won’t miss the opportunity to capitalize on the fun of the opening ceremonies. Start by sending out an Olympic-themed invitation that gets people in the right mindset for the games. Just like the athletes themselves are—as I type—going through an intense process of mentally preparing to compete, the earlier your guests catch wind of your party, the more their Olympic spirit will mount.

Opening Ceremony Invite

*I used Mixbook's Simple Tones Party Invitation

Seeing those iconic interlocking rings in Technicolor on the fridge-side invite will inspire memories of their childhood heroes. My mind is already wandering back to the thrill of watching Mary Lou Retton stick that full-twisting tsukahara in the 1984 olympics, earning a 10.0 and Olympic gold. [Watch the YouTube clip here] But I digress…to create my Olympic Opening Ceremony party invitation, I did a quick search for Olympic ring clipart, and downloaded a png file. I then uploaded it into the Mixbook editor, which took a total of about 30 seconds. 

Just inviting friends over to watch the opening ceremony is bound to be fun. But why not take it a step further? Piggybacking on the over-the-top extravaganza that is the spirit of the Olympic kick-off, invite guests to come decked out in a costume inspired by their favorite Olympian. Some may show up in togas; others will come in head-to-toe tracksuits or super-short 1970s-style basketball shorts, tube socks and headbands. Just hope your boss doesn’t show up sporting his Michael Phelps or Greg Louganis costume.

To get guests warmed up before the ceremony begins, set up an obstacle course that’s as absurd as possible. Some suggestions: crabwalk, frog jumps, box hops, hula-hoop, jump rope, monkey bars, basketball toss, and 50-yard dash. Then get out your stopwatch and whistle—and let the follies, I mean “games,” begin! Hand out medals liberally so friends can start gloating early and often.

Once everyone has worked up an appetite, turn on the opening ceremony coverage and serve up the party food. Keep the menu simple by framing the food selection as a way to carbo-load, serving a pasta dish or two along with a selection of beers. And since it’s the London games, go with Chiswick, Sussex Gold, Englands Own, Shefford Bitter or another British brew.

For dessert, get out your kitchen torch just as the torch is igniting the Olympic cauldron. Pass the torch from guest to guest, allowing them to caramelize the tops of your pre-prepped Crème brûlées, a dessert that many Brits claim was born as “Trinity Burnt Cream” in 17th-century Cambridge.

During commercial breaks, invite your guest athletes to perform their signature moves with a straight face. Whether they pantomime a killer discus throw or go through the motions of a technically challenging floor exercise, we’re guessing the performance in your living room will rival the scene in London.

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