A Breif History of the Hemp Olympix

In Autumn 93 in Berlin, violent demonstrations broke out in protest against their nomination for the 2000 Olympic Games. The foresight of these young, and old, left-wing radicals (and their probable impact on the final decision of the IOC at the end of ’93) which saved their city from the Games and stopped Berlin from becoming involved in the total madness of being THE OLYPIC CITY. Already, Berlin was starting to feel the effect of the National capital moving there from Bonn.

These Berlin ‘warriors’ inspired the idea of creating an alternative games to the commercialised, corrupted and corporatised circus which the ‘modern Olympics had become.

Knowing the impact that the Games had on Atlanta, especially on the poor and socially disadvantaged (who were removed from visibility so as not to offend the Olympic guests etc). It seemed crazy to inflict this on the society of NSW, who were already reeling from the effects of economic rationalism. Australia already had enough on it’s hands, with growing racism, conservative pushes against republicanism and reconciliation; youth suicide and unemployment and a steady depletion of rural infrastructure.

Returning from Germany in 1996, having invited friends from Europe to come to Nimbin and participate in an “Alternative Olympics”, I planned to hold in 19/9/1999 on the community where I lived called “Nmbngee”. The timing also allowed for them to stay on for the New Millennium Celebrations.

“Nmbngee” is a 27 year old community (established near Nimbin after the original Aquarius Festival) already had a ten year history of an Annual Picnic Race Day which featured such competitions as egg and spoon and three legged races; a “Midsummer-Midday-Madness Run” of 3000 meters in 40+ degree heat; volleyball games and home beer brewing to name a few. This day of picnic races and competitions created a socially interactive place enjoyed by young and old. from the Rainbow Region.

My concept for creating these “Alternative Games”, was to invite friends to join in a sport and sub-culture weekend events. Events such as table-tennis, badminton, volleyball, joint rolling and bong pulling.

Later, talking with Bob and Michael, we felt that Mardi Grass needed events which would entertain as well as educate. and “THE HEMP OLYMPIX” WERE BORN!!

Creating the Events Being always a sports active person and a bit of a long distance runner, I was always impressed by the ideals of the Olympic Games and admired the Olympic flame. Thinking Sydney 2000 and the long torch run around Australia, inspired the idea of the ”Hemp Olympix Torch” run.

Starting the run in Lismore, where our Court House resides and using the flame as a visual tool to show the devastating effect of the laws on our communities. The “Kombi Konvoy” is a respectful salute to the origins of the mobile hippie roots that re-invigorated Nimbin, bringing the “New Age Drop-Outs” to settle the “Rainbow Region” of Northern New South Wales, Australia, after the famous 1973 “Aquarius Festival” held in Nimbin.

Speed Joint Rolling” was the first event we worked on.. I came up with the idea of a ‘speed rolling’ competition, remembering the moments squeezed in toilets rolling a joint to be shared discreetly outside the public venue.

Being always a devotee of carefully crafted joints inspired the idea of the “Artistic Joint Rolling Event” which allows “some time” for competitors to enjoy rolling some magical creations.

Concerned for the health of our young bong smokers, who often use plastic bottles and garden hose, (which when lit release toxic fumes) we devised the “Bong Throwing Event”.

There are much healthier ways to imbibe the herb. such as a tea, or eating it. The “Irongrower-Person Event”. intends to illustrate why “mull” costs so much. It duplicates the real risks and herculean feets locals have had to perform carrying bags of fertiliser, buckets of water, (often up steep terrain) crawling through tick and leech infested thickets of Lantana plants, disguising the tracks to the crops from the police helicopter and the threat of being busted and going to jail. All because of the draconian drug laws that need to be repealed.