The MarbleLympics – Ooh, Interesting! Fascinating Facts

July 14, 2017

Whilst you’re busy watching the final few days of Wimbledon or perhaps excitedly putting together the first couple of iterations of your Fantasy Football team for next year, another form of entertainment may very well have passed you by, yet it just as enjoyable as other more popular sporting disciplines. We are of course talking about the MarbleLympics. Not sure what they are, read on and change your life forever!

The rather brilliant Jelle, a Dutch YouTuber, has practically created a new sport by himself with his ‘Jelle’s Marble Runs’ channel. The basic concept is that he’ll craft a track from sand or more traditional plastic and wood, and then ‘race’ anything from 2 to 20 marbles down the course. You get to root for whichever colour you decide to go for and that’s it. The race begins and you watch the marbles traverse down the slope, occasionally over taking one another en route to the finish line.

The genius bit – and perhaps the reason that it has amassed over 200,000 subscribers to date – is that Jelle has hired an American sports commentator, Greg Woods, to analyse each and every race. It would be simple to mock each moment a red marble overtakes a yellow marble but Greg plays it totally serious, often talking about tactics that marbles may be following and their ‘previous form’ from earlier races.

You might think this all sounds very silly and it is, but it’s also incredibly entertaining. A person need only watch a funnel race to confirm that, wherein the aim is for a marble to be the last out of the funnels. You can watch one of those here. Jelle’s Marble Runs have built up a cult following over the years but have recently closed in on the big time thanks to his annual MarbleLympics featuring 16 teams of 4 marbles each, competing in various disciplines including sprint, long jump and more. The One Show and Vice have recently written about the channel and we are convinced you’ll see more friends talking about it soon.

Will you be a supporter of the O’Rangers (that’s who I’ve gone for…) or perhaps the Chocolatiers? Maybe even Team Momo, who are call Mo, Momo, Momomo and Momomomo (yes, each marble has a name). Pick a team as you watch the opening ceremony of this year's tournament. The most enjoyable part of the series is the attention to detail. You’re treated to stationery marbles supporting their competitors from the Lego stands and we’ve even been spoiled by the appearance of a streaker. What more could one want from their entertainment?

As yet, we’ve never offered constructing marble runs for team building but surely it’s only a matter of time. Perhaps they can even be as popular as a fun casino, where guests bet ‘funny money’ on the spins of a roulette wheel. Whatever might happen in the future, we urge you to pick a team and watch the MarbleLympics. Go O’Rangers!



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By Henry Fosdike