While both the Summer and Winter Games are typically held once every four years, for decades people have been getting into the Olympic spirit in a different way: through video games.

Though not every video game that’s tried to capture the spirit of real world competition has quite hit the nail on the head.

Growing up, I remember an arcade cabinet called Track and Field, which featured the 100 meter dash, long jump, javelin, hurdles, hammer throw and high jump.

It was wildly popular, which was not great for the arcade cabinets, since a lot of the gameplay meant mashing buttons as fast as you could.

Most Olympic-themed video games have focused on those classic events, like track and field, or swimming.

And video games for the Winter Olympics have skiing, skating and bobsledding.

Maybe the most unusual Olympic video game came in 1996.

“Izzy’s Quest for the Olympic Rings” features the Atlanta Olympics’ mascot in a side-scrolling game along the lines of a Sonic the Hedgehog adventure.

The friendly blue blob has to track down the five Olympic rings that magically keep the Olympic torch lit.

Which, honestly, if they made into a real-life Olympic event, would be pretty fun to watch.


Here’s a story from the 2004 Summer Games in Athens that probably wouldn’t happen in a video game.

During the men’s team sabre fencing competition, French fencer Damien Touya lunged at his opponent, and the opponent lunged at him.

The opponent’s blade went through Touya’s glove and his hand.

But after 10 minutes of medical treatment, Touya returned to the competition.

Not only did he win it, France would go on to win gold.

15 of the most notable Olympic video games ever made (Yardbarker)

France win fencing gold (BBC)

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