2012 Gale Crater Galactic Olympics   59 comments

Galactic Olympics ~ Gale Crater 2012


Mars Rover Curiosity – the Mars Science Laboratory has arrived safely on Mars  August 6th 2012 ~ right in the middle of Earth’s Olympics…


Let the Galactic Olympics Begin!!

Valles Marineris Canyon (The Mariner Valleys)

imageNamed after its discoverer the Mariner 9 space probe, Valles Marineris is definitely not for the faint-hearted! For those with nerves of steel it is perfect for **Abseiling. However! Assuming that you haven’t already fallen over one of the massive cliff edges; be warned! The colourful canyon walls are unstable and could collapse suddenly due to the onslaught of temperature changes and Martian dust storms. It will be little consolation in this case scenario to know that Valles Marineris, as the presence of sedimentary rocks shows, was once an underwater area – because it isn’t now! It’s very rocky and you will meet your doom on them! You will also meet it considerably faster than you would on Earth due to Mars’s low air density meaning that it will not slow your worrying speedy descent to a rather unpleasant doom.

Winter Olympics are best held very early in spring as Martian night lasts for thmars-snowree months and whilst Skating on the Martian Polar Icecaps may be a fantastic sport and lots of fun doing so in pitch black conditions on an alien and potentially dangerous planetscape may not be the most well-advised of activities. And unless you have a particular penchant for breaking your neck, ski-ing is probably best saved for Jupiter’s moons Europa (watch out for Ice wolves) and Callisto where frosty-white Valhalla Basin offers excellent skiing options. Alternatively you may prefer to visit Saturn’s moon Titan where high-speed Winter Olympian Ice skating and Ice Hockey events take place on the frozen methane ice sheets.

However spring does not disappoint bringing rewards of its own. With the sunlight reflecting off dazzlingly layers of frosted Carbon Dioxide the crunch through the Martian snow, will show the true depths of the very beautiful sights the Polar Icecaps of Mars have to offer.

There are of course certain other risks attached to holding the Olympics on Mars…

Discus ThrowingThere is of course only one place for this Olympic event to take place; from the very top of the huge extinct volcanic mountain Olympus Mons. The largest known volcano in the solar system it is best viewed either at sunrise or sunset on Mars, when the rippling lava flows, otherwise hidden are brought into sharp relief and are easy to see. This is in sharp contrast to your discus which will travel at rocket speeds in Mars’s low wind resistance. Your distance scores will be phenomenal but unfortunately so will everybody else’s. It is also quite possible that you will never see your discus again unless you are also an Olympic marathon sprinter.

Alternatively The Tharsis Bulge, a chain of Great Volcanoes ; Arsia, Paionis and Ascerus Montes, of which Olympus Mons, although it is set apart from, also belongs to, is a fantastic venue for the Olympian Mountain Biker and also for BMX Racing. It also provides something of a challenge for those athletes unfamiliar with Mars, who are not so heavily weighted down by gravity as on Earth, or elsewhere. It does raise the issue of exactly how high and how far you’re going to bounce when you leap-frog over those lava ridges and the bumps in the track. But if you harbour a secret, all-consuming desire to risk becoming rocket man careering into space at something resembling light-speed, this is the sport for you.

Warning! Riding a mountain bike down the sides of a volcano is not recommended for the non-Olympian mountain biker. Stick to rock climbing at the base of Olympus Mons and fossil hunting in its dried-up ocean basins. Even the smaller volcanoes all stand higher than the Hawaiian volcanoes that rise up from the Pacific Ocean floor on Earth, and far above the Tharsis Bulge itself on Mars.


Galactic Olympic Events are taking place at various different venues around the Solar System…

Sailing The Jovian moon of Callisto is a dangerously thrilling venue offering rowing races in the dark on a liquid ocean of sea salt.

You might wish to take your Olympic Torch with you to this event, (one that will stay alight on Callisto would be useful) assuming you wish to see where you’re going and keep tabs on far behind you your opponent is trailing. And if they’re not and look like they may be in danger of ‘going for gold’ you may wish to torch their boat.

titan_surfacenasaWater Polo and Canoe Sprints are highly popular Olympic events on Saturn’s moon Titan, in the methane oceans, though depending on what species you are and which world you hail from Swimming may not be a great experience for the average Olympic swimmer. It may be an interesting experience but if you’re from Earth, best not to give it a go. You won’t get the gold and you’re unlikely to live to tell the tale. Spectators should take note, unless you thrive in methane rain you would be well advised to bring an umbrella. Earth dwellers will be comfortably familiar with the rain showers routine and will carry an umbrella as a matter of course, but anyone else, take heed!

The razor-blade crags of Saturn’s moon Hyperion play host to Olympic Hurdling events whilst the Caloris Basin on Mercury, a crater with cliffs that reach up to 3km (2miles) high and stretching for hundreds of kilometres in diameter, provides great terrain for the Equestrian Cross-country events. For sight-seeing spectators the polar ice caps, a strange and bizarre sight on this baking little world are home to frozen water-ice lakes that co-exist alongside roasting rocks so hot they could easily melt the Earth metal, lead.

Venus Credit J WhatmoreThe frozen lava runs on Venus’s Maat Mons offer thrill-seeking spectators heart-stoppingly dangerous Bob sleighing races along with stunning views of Venus’s highest mountain at 4.9km (3miles) high – Maxwell Montes. And if you have survived this far you may wish to return to Gale Crater on the host world, Mars for the Olympic Show Jumping and Dressage events. Don’t get too carried away if you are taking part in the Martian Show Jumping. The low gravity on this world is something of a liability in this sport and unless you have changed your mind about not becoming the next rocket man and wish to do so still attached to your mighty Olympic steed, extra care should be taken at jump-take off. Given the excessive speed you will be propelled forward at should you have an ill-timed collision with a fence in such low Martian wind resistance, you would be well advised to avoid such an error of judgement unless you fancy plastic surgery.

Galactic Olympics Closing Ceremony at: Mount Scarp, Gale Crater!

Curiosity - Gale Crater_Mt Scarp

**(Not strictly an Olympic sport that I’m aware of, but if the Olympic Torch can abseil to London Bridge then I think that qualifies it for a mention)

59 responses to “2012 Gale Crater Galactic Olympics

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  1. I will attend if they have women’s beach volleyball 🙂

    • You’ll find them leaping and diving around the Merdiani Planum (Plains) on the Martian host world 🙂 It’s thought to be the coastline of an ancient Baltic Sea-sized ocean but don’t expect a cooling sea breeze, Mars has no ozone layer so pack the factor 50,0000 sun tan lotion in your survival kit ok!! 🙂

    • Yes…that is a rather unfortunate detail that does not sit at all well with the male Women’s Beach Volleyball supporter! However I’m sure the male supporters imaginations will more than make up for this little technicality!! 😀

  2. I think my bipeds should be in the mountain biking. You will remember to chase them so their performance is at its peak?
    I was hoping to do something that involved eating Martian chickens, but I can’t see it on your list. I have to ask – have you scoffed the lot?

    • I will make it my personal mission to ensure they perform at speeds they never thought possible!! They might need your search and rescue skills if they career madly over groooves and ridges and martian chickens….too fast and disappear into the depths of the Tharsis Bulge though 😉 Errm…I only scoffed one or two of the Martian chickens …honest! The rest are being fattened up for the 2014 Winter Galactic Olympics 🙂 There’s also the 2014 Galactic Dog Trials to consider so we need to allow the Martian chickens time to breed!! But if you check discreetly in Gusev Crater just behind Mars Rover Spirit you should find one I put aside for you 🙂

      • Very tasty! I’m looking forward to the 2014 Galactic Olympics now. Where do I sign up?

      • Curiosity’s got the 2014 winter sign-up and schedule details 🙂 You might have to sniff around carefully for it though, Curiosity’s a little preoccupied right now whizzing picture postcards of Mars back to NASA 😀

  3. Wolfie what a spectacular alterative Olympics you have given us here. A truly educational post. It inspires me ‘almost’ 🙂 to get fitter and join in some of these wonderful imaginative. Sports. A great great post Wolfie a truly wonderful read this morning. And I award you a Gold Medal. Well done!! Xxx Sue

    • Well thank you Sue! I am standing on the podium punching the air in true Olympian style, and shedding an emotional tear or two as I clutch my Gold Medal whilst singing the national anthem with great gusto 😉 Olympic Wolfie Howl! xx 🙂

      • Well deserved, and well earned.. bask in the glory.. 🙂 xx Sue

      • Oh I am! I am! I ran the Olympic marathon to get that post put together and up on the blog last night lol I’ve had the material for it for ages but it’s taken till now to get motivated enough to act on it! And gold looks soooooooo good against my snowy white Icewolfie coat!!

      • No other colour would do Wolfie :-)… and I have to say again I loved all the anologies you had here so well put together to say it was a marathon, I think it was brill and it kept my attention from Sport to sport upon those far off planets .. Enjoy the rest of the Games my friend.. Im watching as I type this evening.. 🙂
        Sue x

      • I had fun with it and could have carried on much longer but must think of the potential readership 😉 I was very pleased to discover this morning that you’d enjoyed an early morning read, was in a good mood all day!! You enjoy the Games too…I’m off to watch Usain Bolt with my Jamaican friend in a few min’s, hopefully winning the 200m Final 🙂 And I hear we got 2 more golds today! Go Team GB!! 🙂 xx

      • Already tuned into that one 🙂 and He is the Favourite to win.. Amazing Man.. Like Lightning.. hehe.. 🙂 xx

      • Oh yeah!!! Jamaica!! 1-2-3!!! One proud little country making history and they did it here at London 2012!! Go Jamaica!! Bolt! The power of London!!! 🙂

      • Yes I, 2, and 3… and we also got a Gold earlier today for GB in womens Boxing.. Hoooray for Women.. 🙂

      • Women have excelled themselves and it was women who got our 1st medal 🙂 Not bad the fairer sex are we lol 😀

        Had lot of trouble with your last comment – appeared 2s so deleted one and the duplicate went too just leaving my reply! Got it back but it then appeared detached from the reply! Howling wolves 😉 Still you’ve found it so guess its ok 😉 Haven’t checked its current location from laptop yet so will look tomorrow when I catch up with the new comments…don’t you just love finding lots of interesting new comments! Lol 😀

      • Yes I do and love this little Notification tool.. 🙂

      • Handy little things notification tools 🙂 Did it also tell you we won 2 more golds today? 😉 x

  4. I think that the naked javelin throwing will be a tad dangerous
    so maybe something a little bit tamer is a better alternative 🙂
    Of course Spaceman Hoopla could be fun with the right kind
    of female partner but aiming will be crucial if the next game is
    on the bars, as Mars Bars are best for eating me thinks? 😉 lol

    I like this twist on the Olympics Icywolfy it is very entertaining
    and offers all kinds of wicked imagery, well it does if one is of
    the naughty orientated type of contestant 🙂 Great posting Icy 😉

    Androgoth XXx

    • How very cheeky of you!! 😉 You would definitely be one of the naughty orientated types of contestants if you were to be involved! Considering there’s no ozone layer on Mars and any “Games in the niff” lol would lead to being irradiated and roasted alive assuming you hadn’t suffocated first (quite likely lol), unless you have evolved somewhat from your current version of human/vampire 😉 you might want to reconsider chucking a javelin for example, ‘in the niff!!’ And as to Mars Bars…lol 😉 😀 🙂

      • Yes well we Vampy types use one of those Astro-Bubble-Contraptions,
        it is very similar to a hamster Ball but one that can be adapted for almost
        anything, even in the niff Javelin throwing soooooo not a problem, and
        as Vampys are well versed in the art of aerial throwing techniques then
        a fig leaf can be used, you know just in case? 🙂 lol Actually I could just
        eat a Mars Bar Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 🙂 lol

        Androgoth XXx

      • Hmm…vampires in hamster balls?! Now there’s an interesting thought 😉 Saw signs for the Javelin Park yesterday but thought better of venturing out there in case the sight of a wolf brought out the competitors hunting instincts and they decided Icewolfie would be good for target practice 🙂

      • You could easily dodge a few pesky javelins
        with your finely homed skills and then hunt them
        down for a nice juicy snack 🙂 lol

        Have a Wicked wednesday Icy 🙂 😉

        Androgoth XXx

      • Javelins? Snacks?!! Juicy snacks even?!! Yum 😉 Javelins are to Ice wolves what stakes are to Vampires!!! lol 😀

      • Well don’t be getting too snacky then or else? 🙂 lol
        There’s a joke in there somewhere but I’m not telling 😉
        Hey Icywolfy I hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

        Tell the Romanian that she is being too raunchy 😉 lol
        Those poor creatures are all tired out by the weekend 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

  5. Love this post, Icewolf… and that image of Titan’s surface reminded me of a dream I had once… Saturn was in the exact same angle in the sky in my dream!
    I’ve been to Venus a couple of times (I have some photos on my blog!), so I’d have to compete there as I’m used to the atmosphere. I could push the boundaries and try competing in a different venue, after all it’s the taking part and not the winning that’s important, but the winning is important as well. Anyhoo… or, I should say anyhowl ;), wherever you are… enjoy your day! 😀

    • LoL…Oh dear Aquatom…Venus? That was very brave of you! It’s a very hot, corrosive and poisonousness world and if you don’t take proper precautions you might never leave it again!! You might have seen Icewolf exploring what’s left of the old Soviet space probes whilst you were there…? I probably had a dose of kennel cough trying to breathe out there!!!
      I think I might have seen you arrive in your dream 🙂 I was swimming in the methane seas on Titan 😉 Saturn does takes it time to change position in the sky!!
      And I see you know your Olympic Creed too 🙂 Of course winning is important 😉 But “…the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.” 🙂

  6. Grüsse dich ganz Herzlich und wünsche dir einen schönen Samstag ja die Spiele gehen ja zu ende haben alle gut gekämpft, und ich finde sie waren alle gut es war spannend.Wünsche dir ein schönes glückliches week-end und Grüsse dich lieb Gislinde

    • Sonnige Grüße an Euch an diesem Sonntagmorgen Gislinde 🙂
      Als die Olympischen Spiele zu Ende gegangen Ich denke, jede Nation, die teilgenommen haben
      fühlen sollten sehr stolz auf sich.
      Olympia-Schlussfeier heute Abend
      und ein weiterer für die Olympia Geschichte Bücher!
      Genießen Sie einen schönen Sonntag, Wölfe Umarmung 🙂

  7. Great Olympic adventure! Worthy of medals or more! No one weaves a tale better then you Wolfie. But prefer to ‘catch’ all the action
    on the big screen at home rathar than making that trip…now Rio I would consider.

    • Thanks Eddie 🙂 Great to know you enjoyed it, I had a lot of fun with this one!
      Oooh!! BIG screen at HOME?! I have to make do with the pub 😉 Such a hardship lol…do you, like many of us Brit’s have post Olympic blues? We’re very sad now everyone’s going home and it’s finished. I think they should all come back immediately and carry on where they left off!!

  8. Very imaginative little wolfie.
    Curiosity has landed, but they are taking forever to move the damn thing…
    I guess they don’t want to take any chances, which is fair enough, but I want to see more! Now! Right now!!

  9. Wünsche dir ein schönes glückliches Wochenende es ist zu heiss zum viel schreiben, lieber Gruss und schönen Tag Gislinde

  10. Hej Wolfie..
    Kommer in bara för att ge dig en kram och önska dig en härlig dag..
    Pussar från //Nicki

  11. Hello! Thank you for your comment on my photos. I wish nice week!

  12. Hej Wolfie..
    Ja jag är lite sugen på att prova Flikr eller picasa men för tillfället får det räcka med photobucket för om jag vill flyta mina bilder från photobucket så blir alla mina 3 bloggar helt utan bilder ett stort jobb att flytta allt och nu fungerar ju photobucket igen så jag får se vad som händer längre fram..
    Nej jag försökte inte från en annan webbläsare för alla mina vänner hade samma problen felet låg hos photobucket inte hos oss..
    Men som sagt nu är det okay för denna gången så vi får se vad som händer..
    Taclk för att du försökte att hjälpa mig wolfie..Pussar dig på nosen och lämnar en kram..//Nicki

  13. Einfach mal einen lieben Gruss hierlassen wünsche einen glücklichen Tag Gislinde

  14. Hey are you still here Icywolfy of the Icy Realm
    or AWOL on some wickedly naughty island in the
    Hawaiian beaches of naughtiness 🙂 😉 lol

    Hey we need more input Icywolfy or else? 😉 lol

    Androgoth XXx

  15. You are hilarious! I wonder what your dreams are like, if your waking moments bring to mind Olympics on Mars, etc. Loved reading this. Thanks for the morning smile – makes my day 🙂

  16. Wünsche eine gute glückliche schöne Woche und ganz liebe Grüsse von mir Gislinde

  17. i think id take my chances on that bulge lol no fig leafs for that i think hope your howling still icey xxjen

  18. Hey where are you Icywolfy? 🙂
    Time for a post on Mythology 😉

    Androgoth XXx

  19. Merhaba
    Benim sevgili arkadaşım Buz .
    şiirle ilgili güzel yorumun için çok teşekkür ederim.
    size güzel bir gece ve mutlu yeni bir hafta diliyorum
    kendine iyi bak benim güzel arkadaşım
    çok kucak dolusu sevgiler yolluyorum.

    • Selamlar benim güzel dostum Seçil 🙂
      Ben iyi teşekkürler olduğumu ve aynı zamanda sizin için tüm iyi olduğunu umuyoruz
      Yaz sona eriyor ve gece kapanıyor
      ve bu yüzden güzel ve güneşli bir hafta diliyorum
      Aşk ve kucaklama… Buz 🙂

  20. Wünsche dir einen wunderschönen glücklichen und sonnigen Tag Grüsse dich Herzich Gislinde.

  21. Have a wicked Friday Icywolfy of the Icy Realm 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  22. Wünsche dir auch ein schönes glückliches wee-kend lieber Gruss und einen sonnigen Tag wünsche ich dir Grüsse Herzlich Gislinde

  23. wow so imagine …a lot of discus flying around our ears in future?
    Nice dreams u have Icewolfy
    enjoy the sunbeams on mother earth at the moment
    im off here and i run in the garden..Maybe last sun we have this year.

  24. Hello! I wish sunny, nice weekend!

  25. Wünsche dir noch einen wunderschönen Sonntag Grüsse dich noch Herzlich Gislinde

  26. Hej Wolfie..
    Ja det är nog en blandning du får inte ta bilder av säkerhetsskäl och för att inte förstöra gamla målningar men det varierar väldigt mycket på olika platser..På vissa ställen går det bra utan blixt..
    Nej då det skulle se perfekt ut i mitt hus med en trappa som denna men jag får nöja mig med den jag har..

    men nog om Drottningholm nu har jag varit på många nya äventyr ska blogga om det när jag har tid..Ha en fin vecka min kära Wolfie…
    Kram //Nicki

  27. Wünsche dir mal einen wunderschönen Dienstag und lasse liebe Grüsse hier. Gruss Gislinde.

  28. Pingback: 2014 Winter Olympics–Coming Soon to a Crater Near You!! | Icewolves of Europa

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