Celebrate Olympics, British culture with watch-party tips
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, July 26, 2012
7/26/12 at 11:02 AM
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Four years ago, we watched.
Sometimes sitting on the edge of our sofas, sometimes jumping up and down in our living rooms, but we watched. We cheered on Michael Phelps to win a record-setting eight Olympic gold medals. We jeered the French swimmer who derided the American swim team. And, after it all, we all had something to talk about at work the next day.
Chests filled with Oklahoma pride as we watched the likes of Shannon Miller, John Smith, Kenny Monday, Bart Conner and Wayman Tisdale compete in their respective sports over the decades and make history for our state.
And if we didn't watch, we wished we had.
Every four years, in the dead of summer, those Olympics moments allow us to all get on the same side and root for a common goal - victory for Team USA.
Here's an armchair guide to watching the 2012 Summer Olympics, including details on several Okie Olympians, watch-party inspiration and a bit of British culture to boot.
A bit of razzle-dazzle
Find British memorabilia commemorating the Olympics at Things UK Ltd, 1619 S. Main St. in Broken Arrow.
Owners Rosemarie and Graham Smith have ordered an assortment of British-themed Olympic items such as seat cushions, paper balloons, products and blankets.
"We have had people asking whether we were going to carry anything special for the Olympics," Rosemarie Smith said. "Most people have their minds set on what they are going to make for their watch parties, but they want decorations to make everything look authentic."
The store always carries many authentic British foods such as scones, crumpets, cookies, candies, sauces, gravy mixes and drinks.
"You would be surprised how many British people we have living here," Smith said.
However, Smith said she doesn't know of anyone going back to London for the games.
"Most Brits here are staying away, at least until all the crowds are gone anyway," Smith said.
Erhle's Party and Carnival Supply, 4430 S. Memorial Drive, is also well-stocked with Olympic party supplies, as well as patriotic and international decorations.
They have Olympic-themed plates, napkins, banners, beads and flags. If you are considering having some friendly games at your watch party, Ehrle's has faux medals for the winners.
Get the look
If you want to show your team spirit, we found a good selection of T-shirts, hats and accessories at Academy Sports and Outdoors, 6120 E. 41st St.
The Gap is also featuring an exclusive collection of Olympic vintage T's.
Grub to nosh on
A ploughman's platter and the perfect pint are fitting refreshments for the London summer games. If you are a bit more hungry, you might even go for a pasty - pronounced pass-tee - if you are especially hungry.
Betty Southard, owner and proprietor of the White Lion Pub, 6927 S. Canton Ave., suggested both British dishes for an Olympics watch party.
She explained that a ploughman's platter - or ploughman's lunch as it is often called - is a plate of crusty bread, cheese, pickles, fruit and meat. It can vary considerably, but at her pub, she serves it with ham, Stilton with cranberry and other cheeses and a Branston English-brand pickle.
The name is derived from a lunch packed for a ploughman to take out into the fields.
A pasty is a portable meal in a hand pocket of sorts. It's a crust filled with meats and vegetables. You can pick it up and eat it, or have it on a plate covered in gravy with a few chips (fried potatoes) on the side.
And if the games get you in the mood for the ambiance of a London pub, The White Lion Pub is gearing up for the games this week, Southard said. They have a Union Jack ice sculpture in honor of the 2012 Olympics, and Southard is featuring a special chocolate martini on the dessert menu.
Here are five British
beers to try with your
1. Bass Ale
2. Newcastle Brown Ale
3. Samuel Smith Lager
5. Fuller’s London Pride
We've compiled a few British slang words that might come in handy while watching the Olympics.
telly = television
"Turn on the telly, I want to watch the Summer Games."
kit = uniforms
"The American kit for the Olympics this year looks a bit wanky, if you ask me."
football pitch = soccer field
"Did you hear, (David) Beckham won't make it to the football pitch at the Olympics?"
cracking = great, the best
"That was a cracking dismount from the parallel bars."
best of the British = good luck
"The best of the British to Team USA."
crikey = an exclamation of surprise
"Crikey! Michael Phelps has done it again!"
Original Print Headline: Crossing the pond
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
Jacob Smith (center) for Linda Layman Model and Talent Agency and runners David Morrow and Nick Criser get in the Olympic spirit at the University of Tulsa track. Photo illustrations by CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World
The ploughman's platter (top left), pasty with gravy (right), and fish and chips are traditional English dishes served at White Lion Pub. KT KING / Tulsa World