A Weekly Meeting of the Minds

In 1942, the Olympic Club began meeting weekly at The Rainier Club in Seattle. To this day, Olympians continue to gather at The Rainier Club for lunch on Thursdays to improve speaking skills, enjoy camaraderie, and stimulate curiosity and imagination. Many years ago, the Club moved beyond a limited, speaker-oriented mission to develop a format that features an exchange of ideas and information.

At each luncheon, one member serves as Toastmaster, keeping the meeting on track and organized. The scheduled Topic Master then introduces a topic limited only by his imagination. Topics vary from "soft" (non-controversial) to "hard" (political and/or otherwise sensitive). No one knows the topic until it is announced. Each person is invited to respond for a maximum of 90 seconds. After the chosen topic has been discussed, two seven minute talks are given by scheduled Speakers.

Concluding the meeting is an "evaluation" rendered by the scheduled Critic and the Club Grammarian who analyze speaking skills and provide constructive comments on grammar.

The Toastmaster, Topic Master, two Speakers, and Critic roles are rotated among the members according to a schedule prepared by the Program Director whose methods are scrupulously fair but often somewhat mysterious.

Membership in the Olympic Club is by invitation. The members are a diverse group sharing differing geographic origins, nationalities, ethnicities, races, and occupational backgrounds. Membership dues are paid either monthly or quarterly and cover weekly food costs. No attendance is taken at the meetings. Officers are elected for a six-month term, and serve with astonishing humility. Members may take a leave of absence for six weeks or more, during which time no dues are paid.