THE World Alternative Games 2012 is coming to the quirky town of Llanwrtyd Wells this weekend for two weeks.
The idea for the Games was born as soon as it was announced that London would be hosting the Olympics in 2012.
As one of the greatest sporting events on the calendar, organisers though it would be a wasted opportunity not to hold some sort of celebration in Llanwrtyd to commemorate it.
A spokesman for the Games said: “It was noted by those who organise the curious and sometimes downright bizarre events in Llanwrtyd Wells throughout the year that the Olympics was, well, rather mundane.
“Running, jumping, cycling and swimming are all very well, but they are hardly what someone might call unusual.”
Llanwrtyd is now set to host a variety of different and alternative events including Worm Charming, Chariot Racing, the Bathtubbing Championships, the Wife Carrying Championships, the World Bog Snorkelling Championships and the Man vs Horse Marathon.
“These events have competitors who are just as dedicated to their unusual sports as their Olympian counterparts and what better time to promote as many of these exciting and imaginative events as possible,” said the spokesman.
There will be a day designed purely for the youngsters, with child-friendly events such as Pooh Sticks and Rock, Paper, Scissors.
People from France and the Czech Republic are due to join the festivities as they celebrate links with a French-themed day, including a French cockerel throwing competition, and a Czech-themed day.
The Games will be run under the ethos of the ‘Corinthian Spirit’.
“Although there are no plans to take away the competitive edge of the Games, with gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded for first, second and third placed competitors, it was agreed from the start that taking part should be what really counts and that everybody who visits Llanwrtyd, either as a competitor or a spectator, should have fun and get as involved as possible.
“Everybody who takes part in an event will get a Corinthian medal too.”
There will be an opening ceremony with high energy drumming provided by the community band SambaBrecon, but for Llanwrtyd gone are the days of the Olympic torch.
Instead there will be a ceremonial Sosban of spring water through the town and the fountain on the square will flow with water for the duration of the two weeks.
With plans in place to hold various evening events, which include Welsh cultural events, a small music festival, a massive pub quiz, drum and bass and much more entertainment besides, the World Alternative Games are set to become the biggest event not just on Llanwrtyd Wells calendar, but in Wales.