IT MAY not quite be the Olympics, but unless Usain Bolt can do the sprints in thongs or James Magnussen can swim freestyle against crocodiles, they probably won’t be invited to the Outback Games.
The Northern Territory has put a call out for competitors keen to participate in the Outback Games, to be held in Darwin on 1 September.
According to organisers, sports to be featured include sand soccer, camel equestrian and a thong marathon.
Another competition will apparently see swimmers vying against each other in a croc-infested billabong.
“What’s more motivating for a fast time than the threat of a three-metre croc bearing down on you as you go through the paces of the 50-metre freestyle?” organisers ask in promotional material.
Comedian Mick Molloy will be the official games ambassador.
Organisers say the thong marathon will see people try to become the fastest man or woman on rubber.
“This Tennant Creek tradition requires the runner to master the balance between the flip and the flop,” they say.
As part of the fun, competitors will be divided into their home states to see which jurisdiction can best compete for NT glory.
The serious side of the event is that Tourism NT is seeking to encourage people thinking of taking a short break to book a trip to Darwin for the games.
Tourist numbers coming to the territory have been falling, partly due to foreigners stung by the global financial crisis staying away, and because the high dollar is encouraging Australians to go overseas.
In the year to March 2012 the number of tourists to NT fell by 4.8 per cent, with the number of overseas visitors falling by 9.1 per cent. – AAP