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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Going fur gold: Guinea pigs take inspiration from London 2012 and take part in their own version of the Olympics for new calendar

-Furry rodents put into humorous sporting positions to celebrate Olympics
-No animals were hurt in the making of this 2013 calendar
-Designers used digital tricks to make the guinea pigs look like athletes

By Richard Hartley-parkinson

As London makes its final preparations ahead of Friday's Olympic opening ceremony, it appears that it's not just humans getting into the Games spirit.

This set of guinea pigs show that they also want a piece of the action as they take to the track, field and pools for a funny calendar to celebrate the event.

Maverick Arts Publishing created a calender called the 'Guinea Pig Games - Going for Gold' and shows what our furry friends would look like if they took part in sporting events.

This picture shows Paula Ratcliffe running over Tower Bridge and is taken from the calendar's month of June

Hopefully Team GB's Olympic sailing team will fare better than these guinea pigs who feature for July

Passing the baton: These furry creatures, featuring in December, appear worn out as they take part in the Olympic relay

Forget Eric the eel, we've got Derek the squeel(er) featuring in the swimming for the month of May

The side-splitting Guinea Pig Games 2013 calendar features the furry creatures competing in major sports events including rowing, track cycling and javelin.

They are also seen rowing, tackling the marathon and sprinting in a close-run relay race.

And the competitive critters aren't afraid to get their paws wet in synchronised diving, swimming and open-water sailing.

But animals lovers need not fear that the furry creatures were made to compete for real, the humorous calendar was created using clever image manipulation techniques.

Digital tricks allowed designers to make the guinea pigs appear to form sporty poses.

Matthew Pigsent? The calendar has been produced by Maverick Arts Club and includes this image of rowing guinea pigs in January

Bradley Piggins can be seen leading a group of track cyclists for the calendar's month of March

Maybe he's called Spike? This guinea pig has a go at javelin for the month of October

In fact, they were photographed in a comfortable studio for no more than five minutes at one time and with plenty of treats.

The guinea pigs were loaned by a animal rescue centre and a trained handler was on hand to make sure the photoshoot stars were looked after.

Steve Bicknell, owner of publishers Maverick Arts, said: 'Guinea Pig Games is one of our most successful calendars. This year we have created a stunning array of guinea pig images, showing our little furry friends competing in all the major events.

'We hired the guinea pigs from Palace Piggie Rescue in Crawley in exchange for a donation. The owner of the rescue site handled the guinea pigs.'

The £9.99 Guinea Pig Games 2013 calendar is available now.

A guinea performs a slam dunk during a game of basketball during the Guinea Pig Games for August

Rat-a-twirly: In April the calendar celebrates gymnastics (left) while September took a Tom Daley twist with the guinea pigs performing in the diving discipline

November seems to take a bit of a surrealist turn as this guinea pig takes to show jumping

I guess it makes a change from a running wheel: For February these rodents took part in the hurdles



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