Rebecca Tyrrel: Every day, each family member chooses a task from the Romney 'chore wheel'

 

Share
Related Topics

Who knew that Mitt Romney rounds up his entire family each summer for a week of athletic challenges known to the clan as "the Romney Olympics"? And who knows what will become of this annual festival of sportin' Mormon mayhem if he is elected US President on Tuesday?

These Romneylympics, not to be confused with the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games Mitt oversaw, are held each July at one of the Republican candidates more bijou residences. He, wife Ann, their five sons and daughters-in-law and so many grandchildren it is impossible to count them (that is possibly one of the set challenges) gather at the 13-acre lakeside compound in New Hampshire for a range of activities which Mitt organises with the same rigorous attention to detail that once saw him strap Seamus the dog to the roof of the car for a long drive to Canada.

Compulsory trials of skill, endurance and strength include kayaking, water-skiing, basketball and tennis. But after only avoiding finishing last at a political rally by tripping up a daughter-in-law who had recently given birth, Mitt extended the disciplines to boost his chances of reaching the podium in the future. They now include such thrilling events as "holding on to a pole the longest", "throwing a football the farthest", and everyone's favourite spectator sport – "Who can hammer the most nails into a wooden board in two minutes?".

But there's some zany fun, too. Every day, each family member chooses a domestic task from the Romney "chore wheel". In the evenings, the grandchildren put on talent shows on a stage built by grandpa Mitt, who also shows them how to roast S'mores (crackers topped with chocolate and marshmallow), and when the kids are in bed, the adult Romneys meet to chew over one of the son's work and/or parenting-related worries.

The prospect of the Romney Olympics being postponed for at least four years by the demands of the White House doesn't bear thinking about. This is precisely how the Waltons of Walton's Mountain, Virginia, would have spent their summers if only they'd been sitting on a $250m (£155m) Great Depression fortune… and as President Bush the Elder famously said, wouldn't it just be peachy if the average American family was a bit more like the Waltons, and a little less like the Simpsons? Goodnight Josh, goodnight Craig, goodnight Tagg, goodnight Madam First Lady, g'night Mr President.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Austen Lloyd: In-House Solicitor / Company Secretary - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
 

‘They’ve seen the future – and got it for a song’: the unlikely history of Canary Wharf

Jack Brown
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee