Across the golden fields of the Mauerpark, in the steamy alcoves behind the Panoramabar, from Neukölln’s smoky cafés to the sushi bars of Kotti, spread the news. Athletic young men slipped on their horn-rimmed spectacles. Slender, tattooed sportswomen readied their iPhones. In the capital of cool, hip Berliners set aside their bottles of Club Mate and prepared themselves for the greatest physical challenge of the year: the Hipster Olympics.
On Saturday, while London was preparing itself for the oh-so-outdated Olympics, 6,000 young people ventured to Friedrichshain’s Postbahnhof to watch the real Games. On that heady afternoon a dozen teams of self-proclaimed hipsters joined in the Olympic-style events. Men and women battled together in the Skinny Jeans Tug-O-War. Seriously-cool dudes stretched both body and soul in the Horn-Rimmed Glasses Throw. A perfectly good Led Zeppelin LP collection was destroyed in the Vinyl Record Spinning Contest. Inde bands played. People danced. Fashion victims traded sleeveless neon t-shirts. ‘Wow, man,’ cried out the ecstatic audience. ‘Like, wie unlustig.’
Of course throughout the event these hip heroes of the modern age, those champions of an undefined subculture, tried not to appear too keen. Irony, brothers. You got it.
But the Hipster Olympics were ‘not all fun and games’, warned organiser Thomas Blockus in his speech at the opening ceremony. ‘There’s like, you know, politics and stuff,’ he declared before reading out his ‘Hipster Manifesto’. iPhone charging stations to be installed at all U-bahn stations! A Club Mate fountain to be erected at Rosenthaler Platz. Hooks to be provided for partypeople to hang their jute bags while clubbing at Berghain. Let it be!
As every Berliner knows, jute canvas tote bags are one of the essential accessories for trendy urban living. No self-respecting hipster would be caught dead carrying a plastic Lidl carrier bag to his local Öko organic produce store. No surprise then that one of the day’s biggest events – at least in terms of the number of people falling over – was the Jute Bag Sack Race. Watch it here! Please note, no soft or fluffy animals were harmed in the making of this video.
So, brothers and sisters, forget the London Olympics. And for that matter the 2016 Rio games as well. The best thing about the Hipster Olympics – apart from the flowing laughter and a peculiar carbonated mate drink -- is that it happens every year. The fun will be repeated next July in Berlin. Which gives every wannabe participant more than enough time to grow and curl that prize-winning handlebar moustache.