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While London's Olympics are just over a week away, the 700-year-old English town of Much Wenlock is celebrating the 126th edition of its own Olympics.
With young athletes running, spectators shouting and medals waiting to be given, the scene is reminiscent of the real Games.
The resemblance is not an accident. Much Wenlock is the birthplace of the modern Olympics.
The link dates back to William Penny Brookes, a doctor in the town 200km northwest of London, who believed in the benefits of physical exercise for "every grade of man".
In 1850, Brookes set up the annual Wenlock Olympian Games featuring soccer, running and hopping. His ideas significantly influenced the French aristocrat Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who subsequently led the revival of the modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.
To celebrate Brookes' important role, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games named the official 2012 Olympics mascot Wenlock.
Simon MacVicker, chairman of the Wenlock Olympian Society, said the Wenlock Olympian Games have undergone significant changes over the years to include 24 sporting events, 500 volunteers, 3,000 athletes and 3,000 spectators.
Biathlon and equestrian were added two years ago, and marathon and gliding were added this year.
"We're very much taking things forward," MacVicker said. "This is very much a living game, not just a historical society looking at the old times."
But some traditions continue. Because Brookes hoped sports would benefit everyone, not just the elites, the Wenlock Olympian Games allow anyone to enter on a first-come, first-served basis.
"In all events, you'll see some beginners, you'll see some people doing better, but everybody is welcome," MacVicker said.
As the Wenlock Olympian Games are a massive event for a town of 2,500, a team of 30 committee members have to start preparations every September.
From September to early June, the team completes its administration work, seeks permission to use public facilities and updates its website. In June and July, the focus shifts to details like buying bottled water, briefing the volunteers and putting in place temporary car parks.
"Some people just come to enjoy a day out. Other people see it as a proper sports event. It's not the same as getting to London, but in a small way, people feel they're a part of that," MacVicker said.
Another link between the two Olympics is that some previous competitors at the Wenlock Olympian Games later went on to participate in the Olympics.
Harold Langley, a Birmingham resident who won the Wenlock pentathlon gold in 1923, represented Britain in the triple jump at the 1924 Paris Olympics.
Alison Williamson, who received a silver medal in Much Wenlock in 1981 at the age of 10, later won bronze in archery at the 2004 Athens Olympics and will represent Britain in London this year.
"She is a great friend of our society, and we wish her the very best for the Games," MacVicker said.
Fourteen-year-old swimmer Oliver Preece from Thomas Tilford School already has Olympic dreams and trains seven times a week.
"I am working really hard," he said. "Hopefully, I am on my way."
This year is Preece's first competing in the Wenlock Olympian Games, with the encouragement of his school.
"There is a bridge between this and the Olympics," he said. "It is good for juniors and other people who cannot participate in the Olympics to come here."
Competing in junior school biathlon is Maddie Wong, a 14-year-old second-generation immigrant from Hong Kong.
"I enjoy the atmosphere," she said. "Last year, there was a small amount of people, but this year, they have more participants, maybe because of the Olympics."
The Wenlock Olympics is held on three consecutive Saturdays in July. To celebrate its link with the London Olympics, the town put on a variety of music, arts and entertainment on the second Saturday.
Another highlight was a performance of the play Much Ado About Wenlock, a retelling of Brookes' story in front of his old house, performed by five students from William Brookes School.
Much Wenlock, a remote town with winding streets, traditional white-and-black timber beamed houses and limestone cottages, was scarcely known until 1990, when a visiting academic studying Olympic history went through a box of letters between Brookes and de Coubertin and publicized its links with the Olympics.