One of my first sports related memories is of watching the Olympic torch running through the streets of Los Angeles just prior to the 1984 Opening Ceremonies. (Fun Fact: The final torch bearer that year was Rafer Johnson; my brothers and I would later fight over who got to be him whenever we played my dad’s old Sports Illustrated Decathalon game. Well him and Jim Thorpe, who was like the Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson of that game.)
Anyway, since then I have managed to catch at least part, if not all, of the Opening Ceremonies of every Summer Games and most of the Winter Ones. However, thanks to the long tape delay and internet coverage of several of the last few games, the Opening Ceremonies lack some of the suspense they once had. Hell, by the time most of you read this we’ll all know who lit the torch for the Beijing Games, what the torch looked like, and if anyone passed out from the smog during the Parade of Nations. So, how do those of us who can’t/won’t be available at 8 am to watch the live internet feed liven up 3 + hours of Bob Costas’s running commentary? Opening Ceremonies Bingo!
Basic Bingo rules apply, with the following variations:
Wild Cards: If the item on your wild card is mentioned/shown, you can cross off any square on your card.
Bronze Variation (if you’re watching with kids):
Any verbal mention or visual of anything on your card can be marked off. The same reference can be used for two squares on two separate cards (like “Michael Phelps” and “swimmer of any nationality”) but not for two squares on the same card. Wild cards may be used more than once in the same game.
Silver Variation (if you’re playing with my mother):
Must have a visual of the item on the card, unless it is a “reference” or “Costas says” item. The same shot can not be used more than once; if the person looking for “swimmer of any nationality” sees Michael Phelps first, anyone looking for “Michael Phelps” has to wait at least five minutes before they can call the next shot. (My mom will do this and then cackle when you complain.) Each wild card can only be used once in a game.
Gold Variation (drinking game):
Any time you mark something off on your card, make a player of your choice take a drink. Any time a player gets a bingo, everyone else takes a drink. Wild cards can be used more than once, but the person using them has to take a drink.
There are plenty of countries, athletes, and phrases Costas will beat into the ground to fill additional cards. Suggest your own items in the comments, or make your own card with the blank template here.
Somebody cue John Williams!