The Family Olympics Challenge

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Looking for a fun way to gather the family together?

The Family Olympics Challenge may be just what you are searching for! It is one thing to watch sports on TV, but did you know you can be a part of it? No matter the season, there are plenty of activities to do inside and outside for great family bonding.


Inspired By Family and Strength

Alysia Montaño is a well known USA athlete who has surpassed odds and is often referred to as “that pregnant runner”. Her dedication to family and running has caught the attention of thousands around the world. She is a leader for women everywhere as she runs with a flower in her hair to stand for power in femininity. With a devastating race that prevented her from joining the 2016 Olympics, she and her husband Louis decided to do the family olympics challenge. A challenge that not only can inspire friendly competition, but can lead to great family bonding.


Coinciding with the days that align with the Olympics, we can follow Alysia and Louis in friendly competition for the #familyolympicschallenge. Whether you decide to take on the same activities, or create your own, the Family Olympics Challenge is great for all ages!

Day 1

Day one, Alysia and Louis set out to do archery. Archery appeared in the Olympics in 1900, but took a 52 year hiatus before reappearing in 1972. The equipment used in the Olympics is far more advanced than a toy, but for the purpose of family olympics, a toy is perfect.

Pick up a bow and arrow from your local toy store and set up an archery range with shoe boxes. Label each box with different amount of points. Step back and take turns firing your arrow towards the shoe boxes. Record points accordingly.

Day 2

Day two brings on a cycling challenge. Cycling has been around the Olympics since its shift to the modern age. Since 1896, different forms of cycling have taken the Olympic stage and have captivated people around the world.

For the family challenge, use a stationary bike or head to the streets on your bikes. For Alysia and Louis's challenge they did 3 sets of 30 second sprints and counted reps per minute. Calculate good resistance as you pedal and keep it even for everyone. Adapt to your family's needs and style to create a challenge that is fun for everyone.

Day 3

Day three is all about soccer! Soccer, otherwise known as international football, has unofficially been a part of the Olympics since 1896. Tournaments were organized by clubs and not fully recognized in the Olympics until 1900.

The Montaño's chose to do a penalty shootout for their Olympic challenge of the day with five chances to make it in the goal. If you have a big enough family, you can organize a scrimmage game or try out penalty shots for each family member. Choose your own challenge and count up the score!

Day 4

Day four is the challenge of rowing. Rowing came into the Olympics since the beginning and has only had to cancel once due to stormy seas in 1896. Women were finally allowed to join the ranks for rowing in 1976.

Alysia and Louis are taking their talents to rowing with three sets of counting how many strokes per minute. Whoever has the most strokes wins! If you do not have a device that can do rowing, consider being creative and doing the movement with a resistance band.

Day 5

Day five is shooting! With exceptions of the years 1904 and 1928, shooting has been a part of the Olympics since the modern version held in Athens. Women were allowed to compete within their own ranks for the first time in 1984.

A family friendly version of shooting for family Olympics is to use nerf guns. Set up a score board on a wall with different points. Each person has five shots to get as many points as they can. Points only count if the nerf dart lands within the box on the score board, anything outside the box does not count. Whoever gains the most points, wins!

Day 6

Day six involves the popular sport of basketball. Basketball has been a sport for men since 1936 in the Summer Olympics, but did not open up for women until 1976. It once appeared in 1904 as a demonstration, but was not a recognized medal sport until the games in 1936.

Alysia and Louis go with a simple game of PIG. Each person tries taking a shot from anywhere on the court. If a person makes it into the hoop, then each player has to attempt a shot from that same spot. If a player misses, then they gain a letter. Once a person attains all the letters of PIG from missing shots, then they are eliminated. Keep playing until there is only one winner left who did not attain all the letters.

Day 7

Day seven is a quadtathalon challenge. Quadtathalon is a combo challenge of different events held within track and field. The first recorded track and field event was in 776 BC in Greece.

You can be creative with your challenges based on children's age or physical ability. Split into teams or compete individually to take on a track and field challenge for your Olympics day. The Montaño's picked teams and did a hurdle relay, long jump, a-skip shuttle run, and a 12×100 meter race. Take your family out to the local track, or run around a park to create a challenge that encourages exercise and fun for everyone.

Day 8

Day eight is the challenge of diving and swimming. High platform diving was introduced to the Olympics in 1904, while swimming has been in the Olympics since the beginning of the modern age in 1896.

Take your family to the pool to enjoy a great day of water fun. Alysia, Louis and family take on three dives that are scored by other family members. They closeout their day of competition with a medley swim. Be creative with challenges that are safe for your family and remember to judge fairly!

Day 9

Day nine is the final day of family Olympics and consists of table tennis. Table tennis was introduced into the Summer Olympics in 1988. Singles and doubles competed until it was replaced by team competition in 2008.

Alysia and Louis take it to the tennis table and paddle the ball back and forth to score points. Play in teams, or take on single matches for a great game that encourages hand-eye coordination and fun competition.

The Family Olympics Challenge is all about creating a fun space for your family to compete and have a great bonding time. No matter the season, adapt each day to fit your family's needs, and make a family tradition of having the Olympic games in your own backyard!

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe is a runner at heart, a researcher by nature, and a writer by passion. Having traveled across the world, she continues to be an advocate for awareness and knowledge that empowers people to a better life. You can now find her running out on the trail, or nestled away writing her next article.

Portland, OR