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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Pre-Sales Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are a £multi-million award w...

Recruitment Genius: Support Workers - Mother's Help / Buddy Support Role

£8 - £11 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A gentleman with congenital achondropla...

Recruitment Genius: Training Officer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Training Officer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Specialist - Document Management

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A leading provider of document ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The provincial capital of Idlib, Syria, which fell to al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra last week  

'I was sure I’d be raped or killed. I was terrified': My life as a gay Syrian refugee who had to flee Isis

Subhi Nahas
 

Daily catch-up: How much difference does the wording of a referendum question make?

John Rentoul
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent