The Olympic Games, or Olympics, are an international multi-sport event taking place every four years comprising of summer and winter games. Originally held in ancient Greece, they were revived by a French nobleman, Pierre Frèdy, Baron de Coubertin in the late 19th century. The Summer Olympics have been held every fourth year since 1896, except in 1916, 1940, and 1944 due to the World Wars.
A special edition for winter sports, the Olympic Winter Games, was first held in 1924. The first winter Olympics competitions were originally held as a non-Olympic sports festival, but were declared to be official Games by the International Olympic Committee in 1925. Originally these were held in the same year as the Summer Olympics, but since 1994 the Winter Games and the Summer Games have been held two years apart.
Los Angeles 1984
The Muppets appeared in An Olympic Gala, the television special kicking off the games.
Animal was the mascot of the U.S. Snowboarding Team for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. This was the first year that snowboarding was recognized by the Olympics, and the team adopted Animal as their mascot. The drummer made a television appearance on CBS with reporter Kennedy, who stapled his feet to a snowboard, and a series of short promos written by Craig Shemin and Jim Lewis.
The appearance was shot on Whistler Mountain outside of Vancouver, rather than Nagano, Japan where the Games were held, and included a segment that was omitted from CBS's broadcast. To demonstrate how a snowboarder might stop, Animal was shown to have crashed into a truck, a bathroom door, and a tree. Shortly after the material was shot, Sonny Bono was killed in a skiing accident, and the segment was left unaired.
The Coca-Cola Polar Bear made appearances at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
"Elmo Should Go to the Olympics" (or, ElmOlympian) was a social media campaign by Sesame Workshop, launched on June 4, 2012, the social media blitz followed Elmo as he made preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. On June 7, 2012, Elmo appeared on Today to promote his cause.
Two new videos were released on July 23, the first announcing that Elmo would be joined by Abby and Grover at the Olympics, and the second with Elmo talking to Sarah Hughes. As of the second set of videos, the Facebook campaign page had been taken down, and text references to the Olympics were scrubbed from new videos.
Boxer Marcus Brown was featured in a third video. A USA Boxing representative said the segment was filmed in New York in mid-June, shortly after the USA Olympic boxing team was formally announced. Brown was recommended to producers, who were looking for New York-based Olympians.
Tim Morehouse and Daryl Homer, two American fencers, discuss teamwork in another video. Morehouse met up with Elmo, Grover, and Abby at the Olympics itself, August 11, tweeting pictures of the encounter.
Additionally, a set of web videos supporting team Canada were released on Walt Disney Studio's Canadian YouTube channel featuring the Muppets.
The Sesame Street Muppets appeared with a variety of Olympians in advance of the 2018 Winter Olympics, in short spots for NBC:
- Cookie Monster talks about the sport of skeleton with Annie O'Shea and Matt Antoine, November 8 (video)
- In 1995, Sesame Street spoofed the Olympics in Episode 3300, in which Slimey, Oscar the Grouch's pet worm, competed in the Worm Summer Games. The material was later reused in the video Slimey's World Games.
- Sesame Street also spoofed the Winter Olympics in episode 3061 with the Worm Winter Games, which were held in Squggleville, France.
- In 1992, Good Morning America featured many Muppet skits. In one skit, "The Muppet Games", Louis Kazagger reported on the Geek Winter Games (a much cheaper alternative to the Winter Olympics), where founding geek Gonzo demonstrates demolition speed skating.
- Oscar's trash can contains an Olympic-size swimming pool.
- In "The Ojolympics," from Bear in the Big Blue House, Ojo created her own Olympic Games called The Ojolympics. This story was also made available as a book.
- Four Winter Olympics pins featuring Animal were released for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, that were also available at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
- In January of 2006, Kermit the Frog visited the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany, built for the 1936 Summer Olympics, to promote his Adidas Adicolor line of sports apparel. He took a brief, bare-flippered jog on the freezing cold track.
- A week of Plaza Sésamo episodes in 2006 parodied the Olympic Games with the "Plaza Olympiadas", even making a variation of the Olympics logo.
- In "Little Green Lie", Piggy says she'll always be on TV for Robin, unless it's a rerun or the summer Olympics are on.