The once a year Kinder-Olympics happened last weekend. It had been a long wait for these athletes: some  had counted down from “5 or 6 sleeps to go” in their excitement. 

The Stadium filled up with spectators: parents, grandparents, siblings, and … that’s about it. Once positions were established, shoes removed, and picnic lunches spread out; it was time for the opening ceremony.


There were some concerns about the weather, but the performers were unfazed, didn’t care, or were too involved in getting this “left and right” mumbo jumbo figured out.

Choreographed to perfection, with several child wranglers in place and highly visible yellow chalk lines to follow, the opening ceremony went off flawlessly.

Let the games commence” rang out all around the grounds.

Several countries’ flags were in attendance. Even “Anpanmanlandia” was not left out; although the field of athletes were pretty much just little Japanese kids.

Anpanman himself showed up to applaud the athletes’ athleticism and to scare the smaller children.

There were running races.

And magical hats that changed colors in the middle of races.

Games involving pinwheels and finding your parents at the finish line. There were a few mix ups.

Team Weightlifting competitions.


Performers waiting for the “After the Opening Ceremony but Before the Closing Ceremony” ceremony.

Off-road tricycle racing.

A few near misses, but no casualties this year.

Throwing bean bags into a stationary basket competition.

And into a moving target.

Races involving monkey and kangaroo hats.

Relay races.

Exhibition Sport: Tricycle vs Unicycle Grudge Match. (the tricycle won)

Mugging for the camera competitor.  (eventual champion)

Hide and Seek competitor.  (eventual 4th place finisher)

Happy competitors: possibly an illegal band-aid on one kid’s knee. It will be brought up before the committee I’m sure.

Medals were awarded and accompanied by vigorous handshaking.

The “Pooh Dancers” were even included in the Closing Ceremony. Yeah! Pooh Dancers!!

And then the Kinder-Olympics closed for another year.

Don’t Weep“. They will be back again next year.

10 responses to “Kinder-Olympics!

  1. Precious! Thanks for this Ross. 🙂 I can see why the kids were excited ! I suppose you taught some of these young ones?

    sweetiegirlz: I teach all of the pink, yellow, and blue hatted kiddies sporadically through out the year. The ones with green hats are next year’s students.

  2. Über-cute kinder! Anpanman is indeed a bit on the scary side.

    Are these to be followed by the Gentler-Olympics?

    pannonica: I thought of the “kinder” confusion when I gave it a title, but let it go. Sometimes I just have to let it all go …

    note: Can you keep a secret? This is my 500th post.

  3. 500th post! That’s cause for celebration! You should definitely think about having Kelly and Willy over 😉 Woohoo!

    Great post and not one freaking peace sign! The photographs are really good and the accompanying narrative highly informative – I just wish you had further developed the illegal band-aid issue and the committee’s disposition of the case.

    Thanks for sharing 😉

    nathaliewithanh: Mr. Pettit, Mr. Badger and myself are under a mutually agreed upon “non-congregation period” until at least next weekend.
    When the “illegal band-aid” issue was brought before the committee, all traces of evidence had disappeared: not even a scab remained. I may still be subpoenaed for my photographic evidence. I’ll keep you informed.

  4. I just realized that I have no idea what you do for a living! You teach munchkins?! In JAPAN! (Ok, I knew you were in Japan, obviously.) What’s your particular job description and are there any more openings? I’d love to take the family over seas for a while and get Short Stack enrolled in another countries education system.

    Great post! The commentary was spot on, as usual. Especially the bit about Anpanman being there in person to scare the kids. Does ANYONE ever like the guy in costume? I think not.
    -Turkish Prawn

    Turkish Prawn: you can see my job description over at My Cool Job:

    There are a lot of good sites for finding teaching jobs overseas. “Dave Sperling’s E.S.L. Cafe” is pretty good with info on teaching situations in many different countries. I originally found my job through that site.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the post. To be fair, I made up the weightlifting competition: it was actually a dance thing the kids did with an omikoshi they made. (omikoshi = portable shrine used during festivals)

  5. Aww…I loved this post. The hide and seek photograph killed me. Delete “eventual loser” from the narrative…what if she sees it?? In the US, her parents would sue you.

    w1kkp: I edited the phrase. Not because this person or his parents will ever see it; but because it did sound a bit harsh.
    I’m glad you liked the post.

  6. Looks like a great time was had by all, even the poo dancers

  7. P.S. Flat Tony World Tour 2008 is back on if you wish to join in. Details are on my blog….

  8. How awful! How dare they encourage children to be physically fit! Rubbish! They certainly have strange customs there on that island called Japan.

    S. Le: It’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham! (not sure which movie I got that from)
    I tried passing out free doughnuts and lard, but they have been brainwashed over here!

  9. Seriously cute. Awwww! and there’s a touch of that PhlanetrosswithanH coming through this post! Looks like fun. Those kids are edible.

  10. Nice edit! You know what else killed me? The flags…and that big red crayony one? C’mon, that simply is to die for. I’d hang that country in my house any time!

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