2012 London Olympics: Parade of Fictional Nations
The Olympics bring the countries of the world together in a way nearly nothing else can. So why can't they bring the nations of the fictional world together, too? We contacted representatives of some of the most powerful nations in the worlds of comics, novels, and all realms of fantasy to find out who they'd be sending for the Olympic Parade of Nations, and what they planned to compete in. Please note, Wakanda abstained from participation due to some "civil unrest" because of some troubles with the royal family.
History: The go-to locale for writers in the DC comic book universe when they need a banana republic style setting, Santa Prisca is a sun-drenched Caribbean island paradise where the only thing deeper than the tans gained on their resort beaches is the corruption at the heart of the ever changing regimes in charge. The island nation is most famous, or should it be infamous, for its brutal prison: Pena Dura. An almost literal hell on earth, Pena Dura is not just a dark hole (in some cases literally so) where lifers are sent to 'live out' their sentences, but also a place where unscrupulous actors can run illegal human experiments away from the eyes of the global community.
Chief Export: Performance Enhancing Drugs, High Fructose Corn Syrup
Flag Bearer: Bane
Sport: Wrestling (Freestyle)
Being born and raised within the walls of Pena Dura all but required Bane to become a great fighter just to survive if, as repeat offender, he can pass a drug test to prove that he is not on his signature steroid cocktail, Venom. As success in competitive wrestling is not all about brawn and body mass, Bane's strategic intelligence will also play a vital role in what is sure to be a gold medal performance (as long as he can keep himself from crippling/killing his opponents).
History: Covering a significant portion of the continent of Westeros, The Seven Kingdoms is a fractious collection of individual fiefdoms that are ruled by a single king who holds on to his power with roughly the same kind of ruthlessness that was necessary to secure it in the first place. The land, from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire (also known as HBO's Game of Thrones), when not plagued by war is also at the mercy of extreme environmental phenomenon including seasons that last entire years and supernatural threats such as fantastic creatures and destructive magic.
Chief Export: Treachery, Illegitimate Children
Flag Bearer: Jaime Lannister
The eldest son of House Lannister, Jaime’s dedication to the art of swordsmanship is legendary. Thanks to it he has earned a lasting reputation for engaging in swordplay, often times to the death even when his opponent is unwilling or even facing in the right direction at the time. Though this behavior has left him largely ostracized by those of his same social class he draws on support from his sister with whom he remains very close. With the copious rules, judges and safety equipment in competitive fencing it is unlikely that Jamie will be unable to (directly) kill any of his foes, but his reputation will cause more than one of his opponents to simply withdraw rather than face him.
History: The magical land of Equestria is ruled by a diarchy of benevolent equine god-princesses with power over the natural world on a cosmic scale. Their subjects, three races of magical horses, possess to a lesser degree similar powers they use in their role as 'stewards of their world' including communication with lesser species, weather manipulation, divination, enchantment, transmutation, and illusion. Though Equestria is a peaceful land, vigilance against both mundane and supernatural threats is constantly maintained and countered by a crack team of candy colored horses who together wield the world-shaking power of friendship.
Chief Export: Love and Tolerance
Flag Bearer: Rarity
If there is anypony who embodies the class and dignity that the sport of dressage requires, it's the unicorn Rarity. This fashionista and small business owner takes great pride in conveying an air of dignity regardless of her situation from planning a make or break fashion show of her own work or aiding her friends in stopping the rampage of dragons, shape-shifters, swarms of parasites and a literal god of chaos. Compared to all of that, trotting around to easy listing music would be a piece of cake, as long as somepony keeps a lid on Pinkie Pie. The only problem would be convincing her to commit the social faux pas of carrying a rider.
History: The most significant feature of Kanto was that it was the first land to develop a symbolic relationship between the people living there and an incredibly diverse race of creatures known collectively as Pokemon. These beings, each possessing a range of destructive abilities and varying levels of sentience have achieved a level of homeostasis with the human population, their own combative natures are now exercised in conjunction with the traditional Kanto rite of passage where young men and women journey the land on a mission of personal growth. This ritual while obstinately teaching self-reliance and personal emotional growth is nonetheless supported by a range of social institutions including hospitals, hostels and training facilities.
Chief Export: Licensed Merchandise, Airborne Henchmen
Flag Bearer: Hitmonlee
Hitmonlee, the “Kicking Pokemon” was born to fight. Even for an entire species that seems ready to battle as soon as the ball drops, Hitmonlee jumps in to battle with both feet. This makes him perfect for the modernized sporting derivative of the ancient Korean martial art. Despite an infamous second place finished to a Primeape in the 1996 Silph Company P1 Grand Prix in Celadon City, Hitmonlee is ready to make a comeback on the international level thanks in part to a ruling that will allow him to use his segmented arms and legs to extend his reach during matches, a fair compromise for the 110lbs, 4`11” inch Pokemon.
History: The undersea Kingdom of Atlantis covers three-quarter’s of the Earth’s surface and is ruled by the benevolent but often troubled King Arthur Currie (aka DC Comic's Aquaman). This magical kingdom under the sea is home of a variety of sentient and non-sentient life that is perpetually threatened by not only by environmental and military threats from land-dwellers, but by political machinations within the capitol.
Chief Export: Seafood, Petroleum (disputed)
Flag Bearer: None. No Pure Atlantian athlete could be out of the water long enough to survive the five-hour Opening Ceremony, and King Arthur is hardly going to lower himself to some ground-bound "parade."
Sport: Water Polo
Team Atlantis is set to crush the competition this year after the unfortunate 'translation error' that had Beijing’s National Aquatics Center (aka The Water Cube) infested with seahorses.
History: Rising from the ashes of a United States destroyed by some unknown catastrophe, the twelve districts of Panem are ruled by a dictator who maintains control from his Capitol by means of military oppression and a ritual of child sacrifice called “The Hunger Games.”
Chief Export: Entertainment, Child Sized Coffins
Flag Bearer: Katniss Everdeen
Trained in archery by her father as a child, Katniss employed her skills to keep her and her family from starving to death after he died in a mine explosion. Her skills with the bow and arrow served her well for years but never as much so as when she felt compelled to compete in the 74th annual Hunger Games, where her sentient bi-pedal quarry had the impetus to shoot back. For one who never engaged in the activity for sport, shooting at targets in London would be comically ridiculous for Katniss, who's main competition would be following the sport’s arcane (but at least unchanging) rules. The only serious barrier to competition would be prying the malnourished archer away from the giant McDonalds constructed in London for games.
History: If measured by their ruler's egos, the nation of Latveria would span continents rather than be the tiny, mountainous Eastern European fiefdom that it is. That ruler, Victor Von “Doctor” Doom holds power in Latveria with a literal iron fist, the one attached to an armored suit that's given Iron Man a run for his money, and remains a thorn in the side of not only the heroes of the Marvel Universe but all freedom loving people everywhere.
Chief Export: Villainous Machinations, Hand Crafted Cuckoo Clocks
Flag Bearer: NONE
Latveria has been banned from the Olympics for the use of robots in international competition, rampant bribery of officials and the numerous attempts by its ruler to conquer/destroy the world. Doom disputes this claim with one of his own: that the ban is over the international community’s jealously of his brilliance and the superiority of 'his' people.
History: The hidden island of the Amazons remained the thing of stories told by drunken sailors for generations until the emergence of an ambassador, Diana of Themiscyra (aka DC Comic’s Wonder Woman), revealed the existence of a land of nigh-immortal women living in a largely static society blessed by the ancient Greek Gods. Since then Themiscyra has sought to teach their ways of peace to “the Patriarch's World” with decidedly mixed results.
Chief Export: Superheroines, Superheroine Accessories
Flag Bearer: Diana of Themiscyra
The heptathlon, a collection of eight track and field events (100m hurdles, the high jump, the shot put, a 200m dash, the long jump, the javelin and an 800 meter run) is almost child's play compared to the violent contest that Diana had to win to earn her place as Ambassador for Themiscyra and the cosmic-scale fights she gets into as part of her other job as one of the world's premiere superheroes. However, what truly makes her Wonder Woman will be her commitment to complete without the aid of her demigodly powers as she is always eager to prove, that despite her power, she knows it's more in keeping with her mission and the Olympic Ideal to show feet of clay.
History: Existing in a parallel world only accessible via a network of comically large pipes, the Mushroom Kingdom is ruled by the kindly Princess Peach on behalf of a race of intelligent (and in some cases inordinately strong) ambulatory, anthropomorphic mushroom people. The Mushroom Kingdom benefits from nearly constant perfect weather year-round over its vast and varied collection of landscapes. The economy of the land is also very strong, and despite the fact that the coin of the realm can be found abandoned just about anywhere, the Mushroom Kingdom does not suffer from any kind of fiscal inflation, the costs of commonly desired goods have remained steady for generations.
Chief Export: Gold Coins, Hallucinogens
Flag Bearer: Mario
Sport: High Jump
This American expat (who's long been rumored to be the paramour of the ruling monarch) has, since taking up residence in the Mushroom Kingdom, acted as Commander-In-Chief and one man army for her highness. Utilizing a level of athletic still that belies his appearance, Mario is a formidable warrior who's rid his adopted homeland of a host of threats. Mario is in fact the veteran of several simulated Olympics and is in line to be the first athlete to win the High Jump via an actual jump in decades. Rumors that he has pushed aside his only competition for the spot on the team, his own brother who has been rumored to be the superior jumper have been quashed, the brother was unable to be reached for comment.
History: There is no Oceania without The Party: Ingsoc. The Party holds power for the self-justifying need to hold power. In Oceania is there is no truth but what The Party thinks and no past but what The Party dictates at the time of dictation. Power is held by a vast minority of people who hold power because they are the ones who hold power. Oceania has been engaged in a long running war with Eurasia alongside its ally Eastasia. Big Brother is Watching.
Chief Export: Political Dictionaries, Gin
Flag Bearer: [NAME REDACTED]
There is no “truth” to there not being a Biathlon competition at the Summer Games, there is one because The Party says there is. The Party's competitor won, proving the rightness of The Party. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.