After months of waiting to see which teams would compete in the 2019 MarbleLympics, we finally know the sixteen teams that have qualified, including the four that prequalified at the end of the 2018 MarbleLympics and the twelve that competed in the 2019 MarbleLympics Qualifiers. And now that we know…that’s it, for three months. These teams will train rigorously for the main tournament, and we’ll be left to speculate who will triumph come April.
In our theorizing, meme-making, and hype intensifying, we’ll rally behind at least one of the sixteen teams that have qualified, if not all of them. From the two rookie teams, including the newly announced Green Ducks, to four-time veterans such as Savage Speeders, Pinkies, and Team Galactic, each team deserves to prove its worth in the MarbleLympics. They all have something unique to bring to the games, and they have brought their all in order to secure their roles.
Regardless, there is a certain tragedy with the passing of the Qualifiers each year. There are sixteen spots in the MarbleLympics each year, meaning that if more than twelve teams are seeing to compete, there will be cuts. This has been the case since 2017, when the first Qualifiers were held, and Kobalts, Snowballs, Balls of Chaos, and Rojo Rollers failed to qualify. In 2018, twelve teams failed to qualify (four from each group), the most in a single season yet.
This year saw a mixture of teams get cut. Some were beloved fan favorites. Others were hoping, after years of being unsuccessful, to finally return to the competition. But none of them can be forgotten. Like the sixteen teams that have qualified, these eight teams all bring something special to the competition. The difference is the effort put in—either it isn’t “their all” or it’s masked by other teams. And so it goes.
Still, as we await the 2019 MarbleLympics, we would like to reflect on these “forbidden eight”, if you will. They deserve to be heard, and their legacies deserve to be honored. Any team could be in their position right now.
A loss welcomed by Raspberry Racers and Team Primary fans, Limers were four points short of overcoming the Chocolatiers to qualify. Their presence in Qualifiers was soured when Limers fans starting throwing debris into the Relay Race arena, disrupting the flow of the event and allegedly blocking Team Primary from finishing the race (an allegation that the IMC denies). Needless to say, the fans’ actions in the stands were reckless, and Goolime agreed:
“We do not condone actions like that—in fact, these types of things distract us too. We’re marble athletes and we’re focused on that—we’re trying to do the best we can. That’s all.”
Limers did in fact finish in third in that heat, and twelfth place overall in that event. Had their fans not disrupted the flow, the end result could have changed. Instead, the team is missing out on its first MarbleLympics ever. Here’s what Lemonlime had to say about that:
“I know what the fans are thinking. ‘Wow, Limers finally didn’t qualify. They’ve always been in the bottom half of the standings. They didn’t deserve to be in the MarbleLympics.’ And they have every right to feel that way. Our response is this, plain and simple: we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to compete in these tournaments. We’ve loved to do what we do, no matter how well we’ve placed. It’s been far from perfect, but it doesn’t stop here. Right now, it hurts. But trust me when I say that we’re going to do everything we can to keep pushing. Thank you to the fans. We’ll see you soon.”
All the best to Limers in the offseason. The team has resilience—and one day, it’ll carry them far.
To say that Team Momo has had a difficult time in recent MarbleLympics would be an understatement. From the infamous Fidget Spinner Collision in 2017 to their Bobsleigh woes in
2018, many hoped that the Momo clan would qualify and have a normal season. They even got a new logo to celebrate, tossing away a logo that many fans reviled as a “stinky green trash bag”.
The fans were ecstatic during the first event, and held their breath until Mo crossed the finish line in the Underwater Race, never losing hope. But it simply was not Team Momo’s year. The downward spiral of points the team earned in the four events perhaps resembled its downward spiral over the past four years, from earning fourth overall in the 2016 MarbleLympics to missing out on qualifying this year, in 2019, by two places.
Team Momo initially declined to comment, but we got a call from Momomomo late in the night of 26 January. He sounded tired, perhaps a little sniffly. But I had never heard him more determined:
“These past two years have been really rough on me. When the medics took me out of the arena, past the view of the fans, and there was a chunk of me missing, I was despondent. I thought I’d never be able to compete again. I couldn’t understand why it had to happen, let alone to me. But life went on. My team put Mimo in, and got three medals that season. Even last year. Team Primary helped us out, and we got two medals. Being part of Team Momo has made me realize something: that I can’t quit when things don’t go my way. So we didn’t qualify this year. That’s not how I wanted things to go, but it’s not going to stop me. And it won’t stop our team from mo-moving forward.”
We wish Team Momo the best in the offseason, and hope that they will appear in “mo-more” MarbleLympics to come.
A team with constant fan support in the offseason, Rojo Rollers have been unsuccessful in Qualifiers for the past two seasons, and sadly, this year was no exception. After getting a new logo and being likened to as Mario in the Super Smash Marbles fanart by Instagram artist
@vinartstudio, Rojo Rollers were thirteen points short of returning to the MarbleLympics for the first time since 2016, a year in which they placed in an impressive sixth place overall.
Rojo Rollers, admittedly, had a difficult offseason. As the 2018 Sand Marble Rally approached, the new logo for the Rollers was released to the public, displaying a roller skate instead of the traditional red number 3 ball. This disturbed Red Number 3, who thought that the MarbleLympics team was ending its long-standing relationship with him. Rojo Rollers privately met with Red Number 3, assuring him otherwise, and preventing the dissent from reaching the public.
Needless to say, the confirmation in December that Red Number 3 was not a glass marble ballooned the scale of the controversy and created chaos. In the midst of training for 2019 MarbleLympics Qualifiers, Rojo Rollers had to act quickly and cut its partnership before the team’s reputation was tarnished in relation to Red Number 3. According to Rojo Tres:
“We had no idea he wasn’t a marble. The drama over this has been astounding, and while we tried to ignore it, we didn’t want to disappoint our fans if they got the impression that we supported fraud. We roll fair and square, except not square, because then we’d be cubes, and cubes aren’t marbles.”
Best of luck to Rojo Rollers. We hope that Rojo Rollers can move past this difficult offseason and, free of controversy, finally get to focus on the competition they’ve desired to return to for so long.
Kobalts, as with Rojo Rollers, have not been in the MarbleLympics since its initial season in 2016, where they placed ninth overall with two silver medals to boot. And while the team replaced half of its members in 2017 with Meepo and Gnome, there seems to be no other reason why Kobalts have not been successful in Qualifiers. The team has had seasons to sync up and
train together, but it can never seem to synthesize quite right. They also lack experience in Funnel Spinning, an event in which they scored one point in 2017 and one point this year. The team is competent at Block Pushing, as it scored twelve points in 2017 and ten points in 2019, but can never seem to succeed at anything else.
Kobalts declined to comment. We hope they have a fruitful offseason, one that finally brings the team together to conquer future Qualifiers and MarbleLympics.
Although its fellow candy team, Chocolatiers, qualified this year after missing the 2018 MarbleLympics, Jawbreakers were unable to replicate such a comeback. Their two silver medals in 2016, landing them in seventh place overall, seemed promising. Their first place in the 2017 Qualifiers Sand Rally event continued this momentum, but it collapsed during the competition later that year when Jawbreakers failed to make the podium. Ending in thirteenth place overall, Jawbreakers were sour. The three former members of the team, Tidbit, Mouthful, and Tongue-Twister, blamed the team’s poor performance on Candy firing and replacing them. Candy’s response? Bitter, to say the least:
“I was miserable last year [in 2016]. I don’t care how well we placed, you all treated me like I was a cough drop. Sugar, Sweet, and Taffy are all amazing teammates. They listen to me, and no matter what happens, at least we know we’re doing the right thing.”
Unfortunately, the “right thing” has not bode well for the team, which has now missed two MarbleLympics. We hope that Jawbreakers can find their way and do the right thing in order to return to the MarbleLympics.
Though we welcomed Snowballs hosting the 2018 MarbleLympics in the bleak midwinter, we are unfortunately going to miss the team in this year’s competition. One of the more surprising omissions from this year’s roster, after a well-earned seventh place last year, Snowballs seem to have dissolved in the waters of the Oceanics’s home turf. When asked about the stark difference in weather conditions this year, Snowflake noted:
“It’s something we really tried to prepare against, but we ultimately couldn’t overcome. We know we can do better than that. Maybe if the conditions were fairer…”
We have no information on whether Snowballs are pursuing legal action against Oceanics and/or the IMC for the event and stadium design. We will report developments as they come forth. Until then, we wish the best to Snowballs and hope they have a chill offseason.
The team that has rolled under the radar since its formation, perhaps because its name is similar to Savage Speeders in alliteration, Shining Swarm. The team has been notably unsuccessful in Qualifiers for the past two years, despite making it into the 2017 MarbleLympics and earning a gold medal in the Collision event. Shimmer remarked:
“You know, our fanbase isn’t big. It’s not easy being overshadowed by franchises that are better grounded in the legacy of the MarbleLympics and trying to make your own mark in something as legendary as this competition. We’re a fun bunch and we love what we do. That’s why we were riding the fidget spinners when we were advancing and later won that event. Not everything has to be serious.”
We appreciate Shining Swarm for taking their own “spin” on the MarbleLympics, and hope to see them again in future years.
The team that saved Team Momo last year could not save itself this year. Though its chances of qualifying were already looking slim after the first two events, Team Primary’s fate was sealed when Mary failed to start in the last leg of the Relay Race. The controversy surrounding her blunder will likely continue on in r/Marblelympics for months to come. For now, we hope that our chance to speak to Rima about why she thought the team had a disappointing Qualifiers will suffice:
“To be honest, things haven’t been easy in the past year. When Team Momo called out for help last year, I was the one to suggest to Prima that we should merge with them. Prima initially denied, saying that a green team like Jungle Jumpers would be better suited to help them, but eventually realized that this would be an opportune chance for us to compete. Prim and I were
the choice marble athletes to form Team Momary, but the fans wanted Mary to join. So Mary joined. And I was denied the chance to compete.”
When asked about the merger, Mary shrugged it off, “I mean, it made sense for me to compete. My name is a part of “Momary”, so. It’s only fair.”
Rima continued. “Imar, Aryp, and I watched from the sidelines as Team Momary got a gold and a silver, and then proceeded to get twelfth overall. We weren’t impressed, to say the least. And we made that known to Prim and Mary when they dissolved the merger in the offseason. Since then, it hasn’t been pretty between the five of us. Who knows if it will ever be.”
It seems Team Primary is going through some rough patches. We hope its members can move past them and work together.
The hype that surrounds the MarbleLympics each year often obscures the hardships behind the scenes: the difficulty in training to qualify, the struggle in maintaining strong performances, and the challenge of demonstrating excellence, among others. If it was easy, any group of marbles would team up and casually roll past the competition—but it’s not. It takes determination to be involved in any aspect of the MarbleLympics, let alone participate in the main tournament, and it’s admittedly not for everyone.
Nevertheless, the result has been proven to be worth it; it has been rewarding beyond any marble’s wildest dreams. If these eight teams work hard during the offseason—pushing their capabilities beyond what they have thought possible—they will rediscover those rewards, as they have in MarbleLympics past.
Limers, Team Momo, Rojo Rollers, Kobalts, Jawbreakers, Snowballs, Shining Swarm, and Team Primary, we implore you not to give up, but to move forward. Learn from this, grow stronger, and be excellent. We’re looking forward to see you competing again.