The 2020 Tokyo Olympics may not take place this year, but the Quarantine Olympics are here to close this gap. And sometimes it looks like a suffocated Roomba heading for five balloons stuck to the floor.
When the Roomba first runs towards a red balloon, the 25-year-old Zach Presley screams: "No, NO!" But it is too late: his balloon pops and the Roomba turns. Next victim? The dark blue balloon, also known as Papa Lee Presley, 58. The robotic vacuum cleaner soon follows the pink balloon owned by mother Wendy Presley, 55, and then hits the green balloon from Alex, Zach's twin brother.
The last balloon is light blue and belongs to Taylor Sharpe, Alex & # 39; 21
This video, released on April 14th at TikTok, has been viewed almost 4 million times and has more than 2,000 enthusiastic comments. And there were 21 days and counting games like this.
In mid-March, the empty nests Lee and Wendy Presley suddenly had a full house. Her sons, both of whom trained as private charter pilots, fled their homes to be with their parents. Sharpe, a model living in Charlotte who didn't want to get stuck alone, also came.
And since then the family has stayed at home.
"We started playing board games and card games," says Alex. "But once you play these three or four days in a row, you're getting bored."
So Alex turned to TikTok. He opened his account (@alexpresley_) in December and only occasionally posted videos of himself and Sharpe. But since April 1st, he's been uploading videos from his family that play creative and brilliant games.
Some of the games the Presleys play are not entirely new – the Fruit Roll-Up Challenge has hundreds of videos on TikTok – but a lot comes from Alex's creative mind, who rightly says so too has "CEO of the Quarantine Olympic Games." The competition rating gives both viewers and presleys the opportunity to get involved over time.
You can watch them every evening at 10pm. EST for about 60 seconds. A short time for an incredible amount of joy.
Alex says that he dialed 10 p.m. because he expects most people to finish dinner and / or relax for the night. And so far he's been right. More than 450,000 TikTok fans have started to tune in regularly to watch this household game in North Carolina.
Watching the Presleys is like investing in the Olympics: you don't have to be part of the games to have fun. But unlike the Olympics, part of the excitement is not knowing which game is next.
"His thoughts are always on the move," Sharpe says of Alex. "The Presley family always has ideas and things to do."
On the first day of the Quarantine Olympic Games, Alex released a video of his family in which he played the so-called "Straw Challenge".
"I thought it would be fun to release this Straw Challenge video where we only drink in the fridge water," says Alex. "And it went crazy viral."
In the video, which has almost 2 million views, each person drinks water as quickly as possible through a straw from a glass that is actively refilled. Whoever drinks the longest without the cup overflowing wins. While Lee won on day one, he's currently with Alex for a total of 5 points.
So far there are 21 videos, some of which are set to music and others are cheered on with the audio of family members. From whipped cream to catching money falling from a rotating ceiling fan, the games are endlessly entertaining.
Some are even inspired by pandemic precautions. There is the "Quarantine Preparation Challenge" where some members stumble when they pull latex gloves over their fingers. Another game asks everyone to measure 6 feet on a tape measure without paying attention to the numbers. It is too easy to cheer or scream when you see that some are neglected or many inches too far.
But the family favorite? Blindfolded Völkerball toilet paper – that's exactly what it sounds like.
"It was fun watching the video again," says Alex.
"You think you hit someone and you're not even around," laughs Lee.
Some of her videos show toilet paper: toilet paper dodgeball, toilet paper bowling, toilet paper basketball, toilet paper ring throw. However, the family insists that they are not warehouse keepers. Wendy says her sons and Sharpe brought toilet paper from their homes when they moved in.
These games have brought more people together, or at least given something to many to look forward to every night. And when the audience watches, they naturally take sides.
"# TeamLee" commented on a recently released video in which the family tries to eat fruit roll-ups as quickly as possible without using their hands. Others lamented the happiness of Sharpe who came in last.
"Taylor Girl reinforces your game that I made for you," wrote another commentator. Sometimes TikToker tag the family in videos of themselves playing the games, or even videos of new games they created, and tell the family to try.
"They're a lot of the same people," Lee says of the account's active followers, adding that the family's new neighbors even found them on TikTok and used the videos to introduce themselves.
The Presleys also insist that the games are so simple that other families or households who stay together at home can easily participate.
This caring, close relationship that the Presleys have built becomes even clearer when a squirrel jumps in sight during our video call – first on a table in front of the family and then on the camera.
"Oh no – you probably see something you don't want to see," Alex says, quickly pulling the squirrel away while Zach tries to explain where the squirrel came from.
“The mother was killed by a car and the baby was all alone, so we looked after her. "
Lee and Wendy laugh. "Sure, it's never boring in our house," Wendy says as the squirrel jumps into her hair.
Aside from interrupting the squirrel, the family wastes no time asking me if I would like to have ideas for games with my friend while we stay together at home.
"Mostly games […] use things that are in every household," says Zach. "Even if it looks a bit stupid at times, it is fun and creates a competitive spirit in everyone."
Sharpe recommends Völkerball-Völkerball for games with only two players, and Lee loves the Fruit Roll-Up Challenge. "[It’s] as simple and fun as hell," he says.
Last Thursday evening, when the family released their latest video – toilet paper bowling, Alex captioned the audience that it was quarantined on Day 21 of the Olympics. Five days after the regular Olympic Games, which only last 16 days, the family has no plans to stop soon. Alex says there are at least four upcoming games in the works.
"Even when [my sons] was small, they only did something," says Lee. "But doing this together has brought us closer."
Wendy says making the videos gives the family time to put their phones down, turn the news off, and spend time together. "Sometimes it's like & # 39; Oh, we're going to play another game? & # 39; But after you're done, the laugh, the energy, the excitement …" She notes that it's all is worth it, especially when they get there. Look at all the joy and laughter that you have created together.
When I asked how the family expected their Olympic Games to end, there was a pause and the family looked at Alex for a moment.
"Maybe a kind of grand ceremony," says Alex.
"Well, there's no doubt that he's coming up with something creative," Wendy replies.
Chelsea Cirruzzo is a health and local news reporter based in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.