Posts Tagged ‘Run Around the Block and We’ll Time You’

The Winter 2009 Unlympiad

July 23, 2009

In Winter 2009, the City of Chicago and a not-for-profit organization called Chicago 2016—backed by PR firm Hill & Knowlton—submitted an official bid to the International Olympic Committee for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Chicago 2016 claimed that over 80% of the citys residents approved of the bid.

They didn’t.

Over four consecutive Saturdays in the middle of a bitterly cold winter, a group of Chicagoans created a series of competitive events to prove it. The Winter 2009 Unlympic Games engaged Chicago residents in active dialogue—extremely active dialogue—about the 2016 Olympic bid.

The Unlympics includes real sports, fake sports, and things that should be sports but arent yet and looks at highly organized, internationally recognized, massively marketed, thoroughly branded, and extremely expensive sporting events to ask residents: shouldn’t we have the right to decide what we do with our public spaces and public funds?

Video edited by Abigail Satinsky at:


Indoor/Outdoor Games (sponsored by the Chicago Working Group on Extreme Inequality)

February 2, 2009

Run Around the Block and We'll Time You

The Indoor/Outdoor Games were off to a rousing start as the costumed and uncostumed alike competed in the competition Run Around the Block and We’ll Time You, modified here to be Run Around the Pole and We’ll Time You.

Winner's Circle

Two winners took home Gold Medals in this competition: One for speed and one for style. (You can already see several contestants who came prepared for the Fashion Competition.)

Matt Evens the Playing Field

Matthew Joynt, Co-Secretary of the Unlympics Organizing Committee, shovels snow off the baseline to even the playing field for Class-Conscious Kickball.


Unfortunately, the rich had all the advantages in the game, which allowed some to get to Third Base . . .


. . . and other unable to make it to First.

Finally, Max Power (brilliantly played by Salem Collo-Julin), representing a confluence of wealth and power, took the field.img_3983

Leaving several bodies in her wake—appropriately enough in Washington Park, the site of the future Olympic Stadium and potential rampant displacement of Chicago residents from their homes—Max Power attacks the ref, takes the ball, and pronounces herself the winner.

Kristin and Joe

Kristin Cox, of sponsor organization Chicago Working Group on Extreme Inequality, narrates the events of Class-Conscious Kickball while Official Unlympics Commentator Joe Mason facilitates.


The evening’s game, Live Action Role Play Family Potluck Dinner, became excessively messy as family members argued the merits and downsides of the Chicago 2016 bid. 

All photos by Secretary of the Unlympics Organizing Committee Anne Elizabeth Moore, and you can see more of them here.