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The LOLympics

The Olympics spirit extends far beyond the Games themselves. We salute the LOLympians, who compete in games off the beaten track (and field).

Faster - Higher - Stronger. The Olympic motto can be applied as much to competitive pea pushing as to breaking the four-minute mile. The competitions featured here might sometimes lack the gravitas of those that win the five rings seal of approval, but don't forget that the tug of war was contested at the Summer Olympiad from 1900 to 1920, while rope climbing made it to 1924.

With BMX recently getting official recognition and golf making a comeback, there's hope for all you bun-eaters, cheese-rollers and haggis-hurlers yet.

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The LOLympics

RECOMMENDED

View Haggis Hurling
Haggis Hurling
Watch for free 5 mins

Haggis Hurling 1980

Meet the president leading the haggis hurling revival and learn how delivering lunch became a sport for kilted gentlemen.

5 mins Northern Ireland

View Pipe Smoking Contest
Pipe Smoking Contest
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Pipe Smoking Contest 1963

A piano player, a magician or sandwiches, which would motivate you to smoke the longest?

2 mins Northern Ireland

View Stuntwoman Human Cannonball
Stuntwoman Human Cannonball
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Stuntwoman Human Cannonball 1975

Human Cannonball Mary Connors has the guts and determination of any Olympian, proving she really is a she performing at Knebworth House, 1975.

3 mins United Kingdom

View Cheese Rolling
Cheese Rolling
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Cheese Rolling 1960

Injuries abound as the annual cheese rolling at Cooper's Hill near Brockworth claims its usual victims.

United Kingdom

View Tug of War
Tug of War
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Tug of War 1975

Their training regime includes lifting a lump of concrete into a tree - meet the Leicester tug-of-war team preparing to take on the world.

4 mins United Kingdom

BROWSE THE COLLECTION

View Wirksworth Uphill Beer Barrel Race
Wirksworth Uphill Beer Barrel Race
Watch for free 6 mins

Wirksworth Uphill Beer Barrel Race 1976

At their secret Peak District training camp outside Wirksworth a group of elite athletes prepare for an extreme sporting challenge.

6 mins United Kingdom

View Wellington Go Kart Race
Wellington Go Kart Race
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Wellington Go Kart Race 1965

Karts start hearts and minds racing in semi legal street race

United Kingdom

View Field Pushball
Field Pushball
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Field Pushball 1968

Pushballers grapple with oversized ball

United Kingdom

View Pub Games
Pub Games
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Pub Games 1970

Beer and Bangers are almost a recipe for disaster in this English Pub

United Kingdom

View Waterski Championships and Other Sports
Waterski Championships and Other Sports
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Waterski Championships and Other Sports 1968

Exotic sporting events from water-skiing to wheel barrow racing are just two of the highlights of this amateur newsreel film.

9 mins United Kingdom

View Jubilee - Sack Race, Building Bonfire
Jubilee - Sack Race, Building Bonfire
Watch for free 2 mins

Jubilee - Sack Race, Building Bonfire 1935

Making merry to celebrate the monarchy: King George V’s silver jubilee in 1935 is the occasion of community festivities in Tredegar/area.

2 mins Wales

View Myers Annual Sports
Myers Annual Sports
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Myers Annual Sports 1963

Tug-of-war and pushball - two of the classic sports on offer at this typical Oldbury works sports day.

1 mins United Kingdom

View CACS plays games
CACS plays games
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CACS plays games 1948

Forget Sir W Raleigh laying down his cloak for the Queen. Here, Cardiff Amateur Cine Society members lay down their newspapers for the ladies!

5 mins Wales

View Bun Eating Contest
Bun Eating Contest
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Bun Eating Contest 1963

Can you spot the cheat in this greedy contest?

Northern Ireland

View International Four Town Competition
International Four Town Competition
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International Four Town Competition 1967

Stand well clear for this one - it's competitive brick and rolling pin throwing as the Strouds of the English speaking world come together.

United Kingdom

View Sports and Parks in Barnet
Sports and Parks in Barnet
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Sports and Parks in Barnet 1984

A journey through the greenest parts of Barnet features sporting scenes of a Sunday league football and bowls matches.

8 mins United Kingdom

View Heinze Wolff and the 57 Tricycles
Heinze Wolff and the 57 Tricycles
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Heinze Wolff and the 57 Tricycles 1986

An archetypal eccentric professor is a fitting presenter for an equally eccentric and ingenious bunch of human powered mobile contraptions.

25 mins United Kingdom

View Sports Time
Sports Time
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Sports Time 1971

From the rich man’s sport of power boats, to the poor man’s scrambling, and in between the mad lot playing football driving around in Cortinas.

16 mins United Kingdom

View Conkers
Conkers
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Conkers 1981

Ever wondered where the conker capital of the world is? Thought not. Oh! Okay, if you insist: it's Ashton in Northamptonshire.

2 mins United Kingdom

View Pram-olympics
Pram-olympics
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Pram-olympics 1976

From the decade that style forgot - it's the 1976 Portsmouth and Southsea Pram-Olympics!

3 mins United Kingdom

View Plymouth's Pram Derby 1923
Plymouth's Pram Derby 1923
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Plymouth's Pram Derby 1923 1923

Get that Kruschen Feeling! Pram race to fundraise for the Palace Theatre

3 mins United Kingdom

View Champion Onion Peeler
Champion Onion Peeler
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Champion Onion Peeler 1980

Wolverley in Worcestershire boasts an unusual British champion with a record that would bring tears to your eyes.

2 mins United Kingdom

View Clive Hall, Llandaf - Sports' Day
Clive Hall, Llandaf - Sports' Day
Watch for free 4 mins

Clive Hall, Llandaf - Sports' Day 1947

Races of all sorts have been arranged for the children at Roald Dahl’s old school in Cardiff – and parents get a chance to race too!

4 mins Wales

View Pea Pushing Contest
Pea Pushing Contest
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Pea Pushing Contest 1969

Who will be the first to roll across the finish line?

Northern Ireland

View Rat Racing
Rat Racing
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Rat Racing 1969

Are champions made with a diet of cereal and Guinness? See the world recording breaking rat in his prime before he gets eaten by his owner’s cat.

15 mins Northern Ireland

View Pushball Bouts and Boy Scout Camp in Brecon
Pushball Bouts and Boy Scout Camp in Brecon
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Pushball Bouts and Boy Scout Camp in Brecon 1925

The Pushball – an enormous sphere filled with hot air and advertising the ‘Daily Mail’ - comes to Brecon annually, as part of the carnival.

1 mins Wales

View Sport, on two wheels
Sport, on two wheels
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Sport, on two wheels 1950

Motorcyclists being asked to walk the plank and dismount for ‘spud and water’? What’s going on?

6 mins Wales

View It’s a Knockout at Halkyn Cricket Club
It’s a Knockout at Halkyn Cricket Club
Watch for free 14 mins

It’s a Knockout at Halkyn Cricket Club 1977

In the Queen’s silver jubilee year, Halkyn provides an It’s a Knockout to remember despite the not so clement weather.

14 mins Wales

View Fun at Halkyn Cricket Club
Fun at Halkyn Cricket Club
Watch for free 15 mins

Fun at Halkyn Cricket Club 1975

Halkyn Cricket Club opens its beautiful ground to fun and frolics on the sunny August bank holiday in 1975 and the drought-stricken one in 1976.

15 mins Wales

View Michelle's Sports Day
Michelle's Sports Day
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Michelle's Sports Day 1970

Danson Park, Welling, is the setting for a quintessential sports day featuring egg and spoon, sack and parents race.

4 mins United Kingdom

View Motor Racing Crystal Palace
Motor Racing Crystal Palace
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Motor Racing Crystal Palace 1969

Formula 3 and sports cars are unleashed on Crystal Palace Park's once thriving race circuit.

2 mins United Kingdom

View School Sports Day
School Sports Day
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School Sports Day 1973

Colourful and lively home movie record of garden activities and school sports day in Enfield Town Park.

3 mins United Kingdom

View Peterston-Super-Ely July 26th
Peterston-Super-Ely July 26th
Watch for free 17 mins

Peterston-Super-Ely July 26th 1946

August shows in south Wales (Peterston-super-Ely, Pontypridd, Rumney, Aberdare and Whitchurch): horses, drays and the hammer and sickle.

17 mins Wales

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