World Alternative Games shop, Llanwrtyd Wells
The shop is located in Irfon Crescent. The following description is based on information given on the World Alternative Games 2012 website.
Already famous for its unusual and quirky events, Llanwrtyd Wells held the World Alternative Games in 2012, during the fortnight between the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. The idea for the Games was born after it was announced that London would be hosting the Olympics in 2012. As one of the greatest sporting events on the calendar, it seemed a wasted opportunity not to hold some sort of celebration in Llanwrtyd to commemorate this. Simultaneously, 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.
And so, with this in mind, a small group of people came up with an idea - what about holding Llanwrtyd's very own version of the Olympic Games, but with all the normal events thrown out of the window and replaced with an array of unrecognised and different events that are not part of the official Olympic calendar. 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.
Events held include worm charming, chariot racing, the Bathtubbing Championship and the Wife-Carrying Championships. There was also a day designed purely for the youngsters, with child-friendly events such as Pooh Sticks and Rock, Paper, Scissors. There was a French-themed day which included a French cockerel-throwing competition and French cheese rolling, and a Czech-themed day.
Events that are held every year in Llanwrtyd, such as the World Bog Snorkelling Championships and the Man vs Horse Marathon, were also part of the World Alternative Games in 2012. The International Underwater Hockey Championships in Newport, South Wales came under the Games umbrella in 2012.
The Games were run in the Corinthian Spirit. Although there were the expected gold, silver and bronze medals 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 visited Llanwrtyd, either as a competitor or a spectator, should have fun and get as involved as possible. Everybody who took part in an event received a Corinthian medal too.
The Games are due to be held every two years, with the next one planned for 2014.