A number of Olympics-themed competitions have cropped up this year, as employers capitalize on the excitement surrounding the 2012 London Games—or, quite possibly, pay homage to the 1983 film Mr. Mom and the U.S. version of The Office, both of which feature Office Olympics plot lines. In Britain several corporate event planners have started offering Olympics-themed packages. And in the U.S., everyone from software companies to product-development firms has hosted multi-sport tournaments in which winners are awarded fake medals at the end.
“The Olympics idea came from a couple of our employees,” says Chris Massot, vice president of sales at Synapse, a 200-person product-development company that has offices in Seattle, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. “We hold a lot of fun events here—probably one every couple of weeks—and we wanted to do one that tapped into the buzz around the real Olympics as they’re going on.”