When it comes to the wide world of sports
, no place is so lofty — no athlete so honored — than at the Olympic Games
. So how the heck did these competitions get to be part of the Olympics?
This is the idea that any competition or game, no matter how silly, fantastic, or non-athletic, can be an Olympic Sport. And each may have their own teams, sponsors, and leagues, despite minor technicalities like not being scorable
or not based on skill. The most egregious examples may even be Fictional Sports
or Wacky Racing
Since it includes all parodies of the Olympics it's typically Played for Laughs
, but it can also be used to help build a fantastic setting. For example, a Science Fiction
story could have a zero-G relay race at the Olympic Games IN SPACE!
This is also Truth in Television
, because many sufficiently motivated groups have gotten their sports and games included in the Olympics and are now considered a normal part of the competition. See the Real Life section below for examples such as contract bridge and sculpture, which were past competitions or seriously considered competitions.
For weird sports that aren't part of the Olympics, compare Fictional Sport
, Gladiator Games
, Cooking Duel
, Wacky Racing
, Calvin Ball
, and Game Show Appearance
- An early Judge Dredd strip takes place during the first Lunar Olympics. Athletes are allowed to compete with bionic implants, provided that no less than 80% of their bodies is made of human tissue. Because of the moon's lower gravity, Earth records in events like the pole vault and the shot put are broken like crazy. There are also a few "Moon Sports" introduced, notably one best described as "snowboarding tricks meets the ski jump"; overshooting ones run and missing the safety net leads to some very bloody, deadly results.
- Later gets inverted by Aaron "The Natural" Johnson. International athletic events now have cybernetics and legal steroids as standard. Aaron competes without cybernetics, drugs or even shoes. He doesn't actually win any races, but does respectably enough given what he's up against. Cue death threats from an entire of city who believe him to be undermining the spirit of competition and the Meg's health trends.
- The Sydney World Games in Young Justice was mostly played straight, except for the presence of Zandia, an island nation with no extradition treaties with anywhere, whose population is almost entirely made up of supervillains. And the archery event is dominated by costumed types with Improbable Aiming Skills (Tigress and Merlyn for Zandia, Arrowette for the US).
- The novel version of Red Dwarf had a version of the Olympics where drugs were legal and later a separate version for Genetically Engineered Life Forms (GELFs) who were specifically engineered to excel at a particular sport.
- The Harry Turtledove short story "Les Mortes d'Arthur" features the sixty-sixth Winter Olympics of the twenty-third century, held on Mimas and featuring several futuristic versions of recognised sports. Also an excellent example of The Great Politics Mess-Up: written in the late 1980s, it has a fragmented USSR with a Tsarist Siberia and a Communist Moscow, said to be the only communist nation left in the world after even China has abandoned it.
- A "Weekend Update" segment on Saturday Night Live once reported on the first All-Drug Olympics that allows (and even encourages) athletes "to take any substance whatsoever before, after, or even during the competition." By the time Weekend Update begins its coverage, 115 world records had already been "shattered".
Attention, all athletes. There are minor scheduling adjustments.
Space Disk! Is totally canceled.
Space Swords! Is totally canceled.
Space Luge! Is also canceled.
And all other events are pending!
- 30 Rock has Olympic Tetherball, amongst others. It turns out that NBC made up a lot of Olympic events so the could stage US victories, both for ratings and national morale.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus had the finals of the Olympic Hide-And-Seek. A special airing in Austria had the Silly Olympics which included events such as the cross-country race for incontinent people, the 100-meter dash for people with no sense of direction, and the 2000-meter breaststroke for non-swimmers.
- The Goodies epsisode "A Kick in the Arts'' had Tim converting the Olympics from sports alone to a combination of sports and arts, leading to such events as the 'Snatch and Limerick' (combining poetry and weightlifting).
- Mystery Science Theater 3000; while watching the Russo-Finnish film "Jack Frost", Crow observed, "If dwarf hide-and-seek were in the Olympics, Finland would be in great shape."
- Numen Olympics, olympic events by genetically enhanced superior people. One event was seeing how many times you could jump off walls between apartment buildings to reach the top, or sprinting faster than 60 miles per hour.
- An NES era game called Caveman Games, based off of the Commodore 64 and IBM Personal Computer game Ugh-lympics featured a series of different events like pole vaulting over a T-rex, building a fire, clubbing your opponent into submission, and outrunning your opponent so you don't get eaten by a saber tooth tiger.
- Scooby-Doo's Laff-A-Lympics ran on this trope. Every competition was some strange game.
- The Fry Cook games in Spongebob Squarepants included events such as patty throwing, artistic ice cream diving, bun wrestling...
- One Care Bears episode involved the Care-A-Lot Games, which consisted of such events as the piggyback race, limbo, the egg spoon race, and paddle ball. Much Hilarity Ensues when Mr. Beastly tries to cheat at every single event he participates in (his screwup with the paddle ball stops just short of destroying the entire stadium).
- Animalympics, being a special about animals competing in the Olympics, is fundamentally based on this trope.
- The Olympics in Futurama have tended to have some strange events, notably, the "limbo" races, in which the runners must limbo under the hurdles as they go along. The robot Olympics have a series of "bending" competitions featuring versions of existing Olympics sports altered to include, well, bending.
- The world of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has the Equestria Games, which were the cast was shown preparing for in season three and were featured in season four. It's been shown that cities vie for the honor of hosting them.
- All Hail King Julien has the Every So Often Jungle Games, with events like "Competitive Packing" and "Competitive Water Skiing and Shark Jumping".
- The modern Olympic Games had art competitions in its early days. The categories were architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture. Oh, and the artworks had to have to do with sports thematically.
- Among the events that are really, seriously, no-kidding performed at the Olympics are:
- Trampoline—bouncing up and down on a trampoline!
- Dressage—horses, but not horse racing or anything, no, but a competition in which the horse walks and trots around a little field, like they do with dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show
- Modern pentathlon—you may be able to fence, you may be able to swim, you may be able to shoot a gun, you may be able to ride a horse, you may be able to run. But can you do ALL of those things?
- The event is based on the thought of a modern cavalry officernote finding himself behind enemy lines. This means that for the riding-a-horse part, the competitors draw lots to pick a random, unknown horse 20 minutes before the event. Hilarity Ensues as they try to get through an Olympic-standard jumping course.
- But not baseball. That would be silly.
- Actually subverted by FIDE (Fédération internationale des échecs, World Chess Federation) which declined an invitation from the IOC to become an Olympic sport, because Chess itself has its own olympics every two years, and accepting the IOC invitation would get the number of Olympic level tournaments halved.