A soggy slalom!

You join us today at the white water course, where Nano is going to do some canoe slalom! He’s all sorted with a canoe, paddle and lifejacket.

Arnold and Ratvaark and Nano stand beside a course of rough water with slalom poles hanging over it

Nano has a tiny canoe and paddle and wears an orange lifejacket

Off he goes! He has to paddle between the poles, and the water is quite rough!

Nano is paddling the canoe between the poles

Ooh, he’s had to turn quite hard to get through the next gate.

Nano is turned almost sideways in the water

Oh, it’s getting very rough down by this last gate….!

the canoe is pitched forward in the water

He’s capsized! Oh no!

the canoe is upside down, and Arnold’s ears fly up in shock

Arnold, I can’t see Nano! Where’s Nano!

Ratvaark and Arnold look into the water where the canoe is drifting away

PHEW! He’s there look, he’s bobbed up to the surface, thank goodness for his lifejacket!

Nano is floating in the water

There, Arnold has thrown the life ring in and pulled Nano out and he’s fine!

Arnold throws a lifebelt into the water

Nano is pulled out onto the bank

Right then, Arnold is off the bottom of the course to fish the canoe out!

Arnold sets off carrying a large fishing net


You join us back at the pool today, for the high diving. Vincent is going first, up he goes!

vincent looks up at a high diving board over a pool

Vincent is up at the top of the ladder

Hmm, I don’t think Vincent looks all that confident about being up there…

vincent is halfway along the board, lying downVincent peers over the edge of the board, still lying down

It is VERY high!

we see vincent lying on the board from above, looking down at the pool

Ah, he’s thought better of it!

vincent has headed back to the ladder without diving


I wonder if Microvaark will do better? Well, he seems more confident.

Microvaark has climbed up to the board watched by vincentmicro is half way along the boardMicro is at the end of the board

Goodness, he is confident, he’s going to go off backwards!

Micro is right at the end of the board, facing backwards

We see micro on the end of the board, from below

And off he goes, with a great spring upwards!

Micro has jumped up and is above the board

Goodness me, a somersault! Look at him twist in the air!

Micro is upside down above the board

micro is right way up below the board

micro is upside down just above the water

And then he stretches out for a lovely clean entry!

Micro’s snozzle is stretched out towards the water

Micro enters the water with a ripple

Well done Micro! So brave and skillful! Vincent is very impressed.

Micro peeks out over the edge of the pool as vincent looks on



It’s Archery today. Um, Dim, I don’t think that’s the right sort of bow? Oh, I see you’re just providing some background music, that’s unusual.

Dim has a violin and bow, standing by an archery targetdim plays the violin

So, Fury favours the traditional longbow. Let’s see how she does.

fury has a long bow and three arrowsfury aims at the target

Oh, that’s pretty good Fury, just the edge of a bullseye there!

Fury has one arrow on the outer ring, and a couple on the edge of the bullseye

Now it’s Vincent’s turn. He has one of the modern fancy bows with counterweights and stuff.

Vincent has a bow with lots of add ons and three arrowsvincent aims at the target

Oh, I say! Three bulls! Well done!

vincent has three arrows in the bulls eye

Now Matilda wants a go, but she says the normal target colours are too bright and give her a headache, so she’s brought her own in pastel colours.

Matilda has changed the target to one in on light colours

Fury wonders what sort of bow Matilda is going to use? Oh. Um, I don’t think Matilda has ever done archery before…

Fury talks to Matilda

Matilda has produced a large shiny parcel bow

Heavy going!

Today, I’m having a go at weightlifting! Vincent is on hand for safety and to help add the weights.

ratvaark is on a mat with vincent, with a set of weights

So, let me try this with just one weight on each end…

ratvaark tucks his snozzle under the bar, with one weight on each end

And…. Hup!

Ratvaark has lifted the weight

Ok, let’s try two weights at each end… Yes, that’s ok… A bit wobbly….

ratvaark has lifted the heavier bar, but not so high

How about three at each end? Er….. No. I can’t shift it at all!

Ratvaark has his snozzle pinned under the bar of weights

Hey Vincent, why don’t you have a go now?

Vincent puts his snozzle under a bar with two weights on

Well! I think you’re very strong Vincent, but I’m not sure about the bar!

vincent lifts the weights but the bar bends dramatically under the weight



We’ve got a couple of gymnastic disciplines for you today. First, Dim will show us some work on the pommel horse!

Dim stands beside a vaark sized pommel horse

So, he mounts the horse, and shows us a few tricks!

Dim stands with his snozzle over the horse between the handles

Dim lies over the horse

dim stands on one end of the horse, balancing on his snozzle at the other end

Dim lies on his back along the length of the horse

And now for the dismount… Very neat!

dim sits on top of the horse

Dim has dismounted and stands on the mat

Next, the rings! Gino will show us how it’s done. First, jump up and catch hold of the rings.

gino and ernest stand next to a set of gymnastic rings hanging from ropes

gino is suspended with an arm through each ring

Now, he’s going to lift himself up, until he’s right upside down! And then, a perfect dismount.

gino is lifted up on the rings

gino is doing a handstand on the rings

Gino has dismounted, with arms in the air

Ernest wants a go, but he says he doesn’t need the rings, he can just do a snozzle dangle! See him pull himself up, and then an elegant dismount. Well done!

Ernest dangles from the cross bar

Ernest has pulled himself up a bit

Ernest dismounts with an elegantly curled snozzle


Don’t get thrown!

So, today we have some judo for you! Dim is refereeing, first bout is Winston against Vincent.

Winston and Vincent stand on a mat, wearing judo jackets with black belts. Dim stands watching them

There’s a lot of wrestling for position, hard to see who’s getting the upper… snozzle.

winston and vincent are wrestling

winston seems to be winning

(now Vincent seems to be winning

And it’s a win for Vincent! Well done. Remember to bow to each other.

vincent has winston pinned down on the floor

Winston and Vincent bow to each other

So, who’s next? Ernest? Um, that’s an interesting outfit? Ernest says he couldn’t get a judo jacket, so he’s borrowed Arnold’s flowery dressing gown.

Dim and Vincent look at Ernest, who is wearing a dressing gown with pink flowers and belt

Well, Dim and Vincent have a chat and reckon it’s ok, so, let’s have bout number 2!

Dim and Vincent talk to each otherErnest and Vincent face each other on the matOh, it looks like Ernest has an advantage with his long snozzle! He might win!

Ernest reaches around Vincent

Ernest tilts Vincent over


Ah! Vincent has used Ernest’s weight against him, and tipped him over! Very well done! Another win for Vincent!

vincent has flipped Ernest over

vincent pins Ernest to the mat

So, Vincent is our reigning Judo champion! Well done!

Vincent stands on the mat victorious as ernest and dim look on

Watery ballet!

Today Matilda and Ofelia are having a go at Synchronised Swimming! They are ready in the pool, with their nose clips to stop water going up their snozzles.

Matilda and Ofelia are in a ‘pool’ of blue cloth, wearing clothes pegs on their noses

See how they turn in perfect unison, all the while treading water.

they both turn to the left

Reach those snozzles high now!

they both point their noses upward

And now… Upside down they go! This is very skillful indeed!

just the bottoms of the two vaarks are visible above the surface

Well, that was very good. It’s nice to get out and dry off, and take those clips off, they are a bit tight!

Matilda and Ofelia are out of the pool wrapped in towels and have taken the pegs off their noses

En garde!

Our first Olympic sport today is Fencing! Bernard is all ready, in his special jacket, just waiting for his opponent to arrive.

bernard wears a white jacket, connected to a box with a light on it, and has a mask and fencing sword

Hello, here’s Fury. Um, Fury, what’s with all the wood and tools?

fury has a pile of planks, a hammer and a saw

No, Fury, you’ve got it wrong, explains Bernard, it’s the sport, not making a fence!

Bernard talks to Fury

Right, now that misunderstanding is cleared up, Fury can get into her gear. Ok? Masks on, both of you!

Fury now wears a jacket like Bernard’s

Fury and bernard both have their masks on

And the match starts! Lots of thrusts and parries, back and forth.

Fury makes a thrust at Bernard with her sword

Bernard thrusts back and Fury parries with her sword

Fury thrusts again and Bernard leans back to avoid the sword tip

A hit! Well done Bernard!

Bernard’s sword makes contact with Fury’s jacket, and her light lights up

And so, they finish with a bow, and Bernard is the winner. Congratulations!

Bernard and Fury remove their masks and bow

Bernard stand in his jacket, mask by his side

Welcome to the Vaark-lympics!

Hello everyone! We are celebrating the opening of the Olympic games with our own ceremony. We’ve got a cauldron all ready for the Olympic flame.

all the vaarks are gathered in front of a cauldron on top of a tall plinth, with Olympic flags

Ah, here’s Fury with the Olympic torch!

fury carries a shiny silver torch with flames coming from the top

And so, Fury approaches the cauldron for the solemn lighting moment.

Fury goes towards the plinth

Ah. Bit of a problem. We’ve made the plinth so tall, Fury can’t reach! Esther, you’re tall, can you do it? No?

Fury is too short to reach the cauldron.

Esther takes the torch, but can’t reach either

Gino, you’re tall, you have a go. No? Gosh, even Ernest can’t reach!

Gino tries to reach up to the cauldron

Ernest’s long snozzle is extended fully, but still too short

Well, now, we’re going to have to have a think about this… I know! Teamwork!

the vaarks all discuss what to do

Right, Hypno, Matilda and Esther, you’re good and sturdy, you form the base….

Hypno, Matilda and Esther stand together at the base of the plinth

Fury and Bernard, you’re well matched for size…

Fury and Bernard stand on the shoulders of the three below

Ofelia and Vincent, you next. Hold tight!

Ofelia and Vincent balance on top of Fury and Bernard

Up you go Micro and Nano! It’s a Vaark pyramid! Now, Ernest, hand the torch up!

Nano sits on Micro’s head and Ernest passes the torch up

Ready Nano? Light the flame!

a close up of nano with the torch


the cauldron bursts into flames


The vaark pyramid collapses in a heap

Everyone alright? Yes? Luckily it was a soft landing!

Ratvaark checks everyone is ok

Nano says, it’s a good thing he didn’t have an eyebrows before, because he wouldn’t have any now!

Nano talks to Micro

Well, we got there in the end. While the Olympics are on, we’re going to have a go at a few sports, so join us tomorrow for the first one!

All the vaarks are gathered in front of the flaming cauldron.