This marble version of the Winter Olympics is the best alternative to the real thing
Jelle Bakker’s marble masterpiece is a joy to watch.
It’s got a snowy arena and events such as the ski jump, bobsled and halfpipe, but the competitors aren’t Winter Olympic athletes – they’re marbles.
The Winter MarbleLympics are the brainchild of Jelle Bakker, a master marble run creator from the Netherlands who has an exquisite attention to detail.
The games take place at the Grand MarbleLympic Stadium, in the “Arctic Regions of Planet Earth”, according to the website – and the opening ceremony was magnificent.
Jelle told the Press Association it takes a “couple of hours” to make each track or course, and he doesn’t even have time to take inspiration from Pyeongchang 2018.
“I have no time to watch the real Olympics,” he said. “I’m too busy with the MarbleLympics.”
The games has its own commentator, sports news station called MSPN and International MarbleLympic Committee (IMC).
Jelle has a form of autism and making marble runs is his “biggest hobby”. He dreams of one day owning a museum dedicated to his craft.
It’s a dream he says will come true, as he announced someone willing to help him set up a toy museum featuring his marble runs on his YouTube channel – which has close to 400,000 subscribers and more than 117 million views.
Featuring 16 teams each with their own crest and 12 events, the Winter MarbleLympics follow the success of the summer games Jelle staged last year – again with commentary from his American friend Greg Woods.
The four events released so far include marbles careering down a frozen track in a miniature bobsled, marble ski jumps into snow and the halfpipe, where they battle to see which competitor can stay on the track for the longest.
Events still to come in the entertaining competition include curling, ice hockey and slalom, before the closing ceremony on March 9.