The Olympic Games of 1972 in Munich, Germany were the first to feature a mascot. Waldi the dachshund was designed by graphic designer Otl Aicher, who modeled Waldi after a real-life doxie named Cherie von Birkenhof. Even in this simple but excellent LEGO version of Waldi by umamen, you can see the attributes of resistance, tenacity, and agility.
The Games of the XXIV Olympiad were hosted in Seoul, South Korea from 17 September to 2 October back in 1988 and the principle stadium has been recreated in microscale by Yo-Sub Joo (ysomt). 8,391 athletes from 160 nations participated in the games and in case you’re wondering how the home team fared; South Korea took home a total of 33 medals including 12 gold!
I’ve generally avoided news about the 2012 Olympics in London in order to preserve some measure of surprise as I watch the much-delayed — and rightly much-maligned — TV coverage on NBC here in the States. That’s meant that we haven’t really featured much in the way of LEGO Olympics models here over the last couple of weeks. Let’s correct that, as I watch the closing ceremonies, in one fell swoop.
Her Majesty the Bloody Queen stole the show at the opening ceremonies, but didn’t look especially entertained during what was actually quite an amazing show. Iain Heath captures the Queen’s look when she visited the Athletes’ Village the next day.
Warren Elsmore spent 250 hours and 300,000 bricks building a 1:500 scale model of many recognizable Olympic buildings.
The Guardian commissioned a series of brick-by-brick stop-motion videos by Fabian Moritz, showcasing important moments during the Olympics. My favorite was Michael Phelps’ 16th gold medal.
Finally, don’t miss McKayla Maroney’s disapproval in the post right below this one.
The UK is currently gripped by both Olympic Fever and a heatwave… one way to cool off would be to dive into this Gold medal quality swimming pool MOC from Gary Davis (Bricks for Brains):
There are a variety of viewpoints to enjoy on his Flickr stream, plus I highly recommend his Gerry Anderson Thunderbirds Lego creations. And for those of you wanting to see this up close and personal The Olympic Pool can be seen in the Westfield Stratford Lego Store in London.
Gary is a member of the Brickish Association (UK Adult Fan of Lego user group).
Mike Eruzione led the 1980 U.S. hockey team to victory against the Soviet Union in what has since been dubbed the “Miracle on Ice.” Jonathan Gilbert (Shmails) has created a custom LEGO minifig to honor the captain of that historic team:
In addition to the decals, the minifig includes a number of custom accessories. Jonathan handcrafted the hockey stick, helmet, and skates.
From John McClane to the Mythbusters guys, don’t miss all of Jonathan’s custom minifigs on Flickr.
The recent Beijing Olympics — and NBC’s coverage of them here in the U.S. — painted a picture of the People’s Republic of China as a veritable utopia of modernism in harmonious balance with ancient tradition.
You can read more about this issue in the surprisingly well-sourced Wikipedia topic.
As the Beijing Olympic Games come to a close, two builders have created their own LEGO Olympics. First off, Jarod from Flickr presents a series of beautiful photos of the games using simplistic LEGO props.
Meanwhile, Alan Chia (713 Avenue) uses Stormtrooper minifigs in his depiction of the competitions.
We recently highlighted HKLUG’s LEGO Sport City display, with huge models of the venues we’ll be seeing in the Beijing Olympics next month.
Chiukeung gives a sense of just how large the display is:
Venues recreated in LEGO include the National Stadium (nicknamed “The Bird’s Nest”), National Aquatics Center (“Swimming Cube”), and Olympic Village.
The iconic National Stadium was designed by Ming, an architect by trade. It took him over 100 hours to complete, and is 128×154 studs in size (that’s about 40″ x 48″). The outer shell includes thousands of hinge plates.
The National Aquatics Center was built by Vincent Cheung over the course of 120 hours, and has a three-tier design with a cell-like structure in the transparent blue walls.
The Swimming Cube is illuminated with a fluorescent lamp inside, and measures 148 by 148 studs, or 46″ on each side.
Chiukeung built the Olympic Village, which is 160 x 224 studs (50″ x 70″). Chiukeung spent 100 hours on the project.
There’s lots more to see (56 pictures in all) in the HKLUG LEGO Sport City photoset on Flickr, including the Equestrian stadium by Hudson, Greek temple by Wai Kee, and various Chinese and European buildings by Andy. The mosaic was built by Hot, who also coordinated the entire project.
If you’re in Hong Kong, you can see this LEGO display for yourself at Grand Century Place between now and August 31, 2008.
A good friend asked me to make a minifigure of Michelle Kwan, who recently withdrew from the 2006 Olympics. Unsatisfied with the minifig on its own, I hauled out my white bricks and whipped together this vignette — my first non-minifig creation in several months:
Japanese figure skater Mao Asada, currently in first place (Washington Post – requires registration) in the ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix Finals being held in Tokyo, is apparently a LEGO fan. According to her official Web site her hobbies include jigsaw puzzles and LEGO.
What set Japanese bloggers buzzing today was the one item she picked up off the ice after her routine — a LEGO bag.
EDIT (12/22/05): Mao Asada won the Grand Prix championship on December 17, but will likely not be allowed to go to the Olympics in Turin early next year. But wait, there’s good news! Here’s a quick translation of the first paragraph from a follow-up article in a Japanese newspaper:
Mao Asada: Reward for winning is ‘LEGO’
Mao Asada (age 15), who won the Figure Skating Grand Prix Finals for the first time, participated on the 19th in a press conference for Japanese National Championship (12/23-12/25) entrants. “I’m going to do two Triple Axels,” she said enthusiastically. In the midst of the discussion on the age limit that may prevent her from entering the Olympics in Turin, she innocently exclaimed, for winning the Grand Prix Finals “I’m going to get LEGO blocks.”
So her LEGO hobby is even showing up in sports section headlines!