If there were an Olympics Village fete, here's what it would be like


Travel with Alistair Mason to a peculiarly British part of the Olympics Village...

Some black and white photocopied fliers have been appearing around the athletes' village in Rio.

Alongside a grainy picture of Andy Murray doing his famous roar are printed in comic sans the words: "Cakes! Tombola! Bike rides with Bradley Wiggins!"

This, you realise, is the Olympics Village fete - an attempt by Team GB bosses to bring a tiny bit of Blighty to Brazil and help the British athletes feel more at home.

So you take a stroll, following the hand-drawn map in the corner of the flier, to find out what's going on.

As you round a corner you see Mo Farah stood in front of the gate to the venue like a benevolent scarecrow, grin fixed to his face, dutifully doing the Mobot.

Mo Farah performs the Mobot

"All right Mo," you say.

He greets you cheerily and agrees to a selfie with resigned good grace - you do an awkward half Mobot next to him as you struggle to take a picture, then you shake his hand and say thank you.

Out of nowhere appears a harassed-looking man in an expensive suit which probably could have been described as sharp four years ago.

"Mo," he growls. "Hands."

You're pretty sure this man is, or at least used to be, Sebastian Coe.

Quickly Mo resumes the position.

"This is a team effort, Mo," says Sebastian. "There's no individual in team. How will Mo Farah attract the crowds if he's not doing the Mobot? Hmmm? What are you without the Mobot?"

Sebastian Coe looking dishevelled

You ask the double gold medallist: "How long have you been like that?"

"A few hours," he says. "I've missed a training run and my kids were supposed to visit this morning. But I don't like to make a fuss."

You say an apologetic goodbye and follow Coe into the fete. You scan the field and see plenty of faces you recognise - there are Alistair and Jonny Brownlee selling jars of their mum's rhubarb chutney, and over there is Laura Trott supervising the bouncy castle.

She's trying to tell Tom Daley to get off and let someone else have a go, but he's not listening.

"Watch my reverse pike," he demands, ignoring the queue of disgruntled children, then leaps into the air.

There's no sign of Andy Murray though, as you point out to Sebastian.

"He'll be here," comes the reply. "Why wouldn't he be here? Have you heard something?"

Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow practise diving

Your eye is drawn to Greg Rutherford, who mans the tombola. Uniquely among the assembled athletes he is wearing his full kit.

He cheerily downplays his lack of customers as you buy your ticket, and when you ask about the kit he says matter-of-factly: "Fancy dress."

Nobody else is in fancy dress, and anyway, that's just his kit - he's essentially come in fancy dress as himself - but he seems to think that's all the explanation you should need, so you don't enquire any further.

Some good news, though - your tombola ticket has won you a prize: some Katy Perry perfume with the duty free price sticker still attached.

You're pocketing your bottle of Meow when your eye is caught by the sight of Coe desperately trying to pull to down a scruffy, hand-painted sign, promising "free bike rides this way".

Obviously you follow the sign.

Greg Rutherford gives a peace sign

As you round a corner you hear the low, menacing hum of a motor, and the smell of diesel replaces the aroma of cut grass and cakes.

There is Bradley Wiggins, leaning with an air of studied nonchalance.

"I bet you didn't expect to see Bradley Wiggins with a motorbike," he says.

"No," you agree.

"After all," he says. "I'm usually associated with road bikes, or more recently track bikes."

"That's true," you say.

"Not motorbikes."

You've got the point, so you just nod and raise your eyebrows in a way you hope suggests you are pleasantly surprised.

"I never do what people expect me to do. That's why the man's trying to shut me down. I don't even care."

Bradley Wiggins poses for a photo

"So, about this free ride," you say, placing your hand admiringly on the body of the bike.

"Woah, hands of the bike man," Bradley snaps.

"But the sign said..."

"I don't care what the sign says. Nobody touches the bike. Nobody."

You back away slowly and head back towards the main part of the fete, where a crowd is gathering around the cakes.

Ignoring a shout of "now watch my somersault with tuck" coming from the bouncy castle, you find a spot in the crowd between Sir Chris Hoy and Jade Jones and instead focus on the highlight of the fete - the judging of the cake competition.

Suddenly Greg is there too, full kit and all. He's interested to see how his baking efforts fare.

He should do okay - it turns out most of the athletes were too busy training for the most important day of their lives to spend much time in the kitchen.

Greg's sponge, a three-tier Victoria sponge with a slightly ungenerous amount of jam, is flanked by Jason Kenny's scruffy chocolate cake, a shop-bought lemon drizzle provided by Jessica Ennis-Hill, who didn't have time to make anything but didn't want to let people down, and an elaborate construction that looks like a shoe.

A sponge cake

This, on closer inspection, is from Rebecca Adlington. You're pretty sure this one will win, and as judges Coe, Daley Thompson and Fatima Whitbread inspect the entrants, it seems they agree with you.

The announcement comes and it's a clear win for the swimmer.

"It's a disgrace," shouts Greg. "This contest was intended for current Olympians only. The rules clearly stated."

There is silence.

"Rebecca Adlington retired more than three years ago. I don't even know how she got her cake in here."

"It's just a bit of fun, Greg," says Laura Trott, who has now left a merrily bouncing Tom Daley to his own devices.

But Greg doesn't think it's fun. Not one bit. He slams his hand down into the Jimmy Choo confection, then throws fistfuls of cake at anyone who's unfortunate enough to be nearby.

Now cake is being thrown everywhere. You spot Adam Gemili stuffing some down Sebastian Coe's pants and running away, just as Bradley cycles past on a Raleigh BMX.

Adam Gemili gives the thumbs-up

You turn to Chris Hoy, and ask: "What happened to the motorbike?"

"He can't actually ride it," says Sir Chris. "It's all for show."

As you turn to leave, you see Coe fishing crumbs out of his pants.

"He'll be here," he says. "It'll all be okay when Andy gets here."

Off in the distance, Mo Farah is still doing the Mobot.