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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.

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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.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Judge Dredd:
    • An early 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.
    • There is also the Sex Olympics where pairs are judged on performance and technique.
  • 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).

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock has Olympic Tetherball, amongst others. It turns out that NBC made up a lot of Olympic events so they could stage US victories, both for ratings and national morale.
  • Doctor Who: Eleven mentions having competed in the Anti-Gravity Olympics in "The Bells of St. John".
  • The Goodies episode "A Kick in the Arts" has 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).
  • M*A*S*H: In the sixth season episode "The M*A*S*H Olympics", Col. Potter decides to get his doctors and nurses in better shape by having them divide up in two teams for their own version of the Olympics, with such events as crutch racing and an obstacle course.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus has the finals of the Olympic Hide-And-Seek. A special airing in Austria has the Silly Olympics which include 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.
  • 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."
  • Saturday Night Live: A "Weekend Update" segment 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".
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    Music 
  • The Lonely Island song "Space Olympics" is about the olympics taking place in space in the year 3022 and featuring events such as Space Disc, Space Swords and Space Luge... except it's really about the logistical problems therein.
    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!

    Puppet Shows 

    Radio 
  • In one episode of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, Patsy Straightwoman interviews a tricyclist who won two medals in "that big international sports competition. The one which is like the Olympics, but isn't the Olympics, but happened at the same time as the Olympics, and also let's say in this universe the Olympics don’t exist."

    Video Games 
  • The 1989 Commodore 64 and IBM Personal Computer game Caveman Ugh-lympics featured a series of different events like pole vaulting over a T-rex, building a fire, mate tossing, clubbing, dino-riding, and outrunning your opponent so you don't get eaten by a saber tooth tiger. It was ported to the NES under the title Caveman Games.
  • Numan Athletics, 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.
  • Zeus: Master of Olympus: The games (which happen every four years, and can win your city considerable prestige if you win) involve all cultural walkers: not just athletes and competitors but philosophers and actors as well.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Website 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • "The Village Games" in The Big Knights. One prominent sport in it is "Witch Hurling".
  • 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).
  • The second half-hour episode of Chowder has the Marzipan City Apprentice Games, which the apprentices of Marzipan City come to compete against each other for honor and glory in a variety of physical competitions. The winner of the Apprentice Games is awarded a shiny golden medal, and the games are hosted by the Queen of Marzipan City. Every year, the competitions revolve around a single unique theme (in the episode it is Apprentice Teamwork). Unfortunately, Chowder and Gorgonzola are kicked out of the competition by their masters after they lose several events. Now the duo must now get back into the games in order to reclaim their dignity.
  • Scooby-Doo's Laff-A-Lympics ran on this trope. Every competition was some strange game.
  • 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.
  • Madagascar: All Hail King Julien has the Every So Often Jungle Games, with events like "Competitive Packing" and "Competitive Water Skiing and Shark Jumping".
  • 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.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: The Plazalympics, from the episode of the same name, are a series of competitions between the heroes of Lakewood Plaza Turbo to see who gets the "key to the Plaza" from Mr. Gar. K.O. ends up getting paired with Potato and Colewort, a pair of low-level kid heroes around his age, and the final event (a relay race that serves as a Golden Snitch) is crashed by the Boxmore Bots, who are only allowed to compete because there ain't no rule against it.
  • The Fry Cook games in SpongeBob SquarePants include events such as patty throwing, artistic ice cream diving, bun wrestling...

    Real Life 
  • 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! Though it's really more like a form of gymnastics, with complicated aerial twists and flips between bounces.
    • 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. (Although any rider who's tried it will tell you it's harder than it looks, with the judging based on precise handling and movement of the horse and rider.)
    • 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.
    • Skateboarding, Surfing and Sport Climbing were added at the 2020 Olympics. Karate was also added, though it's unclear if it will continue.
    • Breakdancing will become an official sport at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
    • Savate was a demonstration sport in 1924.
    • But not baseball. That would be silly.
      • Well, kinda. It was an official sport from 1992-2008, brought back in 2020, and scheduled again for 2028.
    • 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.
  • Early in the Olympics, there was some confusion over what was and what wasn't an "official" event, particularly at the 1900 Games in Paris. Events included ballooning, auto racing, cannon shooting, firefighting, dueling pistols, kite flying, and pigeon racing.
  • The Cybathlon. It can be described as the Paraolympics with performance-enhancing technologies. Including a Powered Exoskeleton race.
  • "Olympick" or "Olympian" Games have been going on in rural England since the 17th century, long before Coubertin's games. The Cotswold Olympick Games have included, among others, disciplines such as coursing with hounds, dancing, sledgehammer throwing, cudgeling, quarterstaff and shin-kicking.

Alternative Title(s): Fauxlympics, Ridiculympics

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