by Max Barry

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2

Olympics


From left: Rufus Skridmott, Breanna Sapphire, Yvette Bellview, Felicia Jin, Alexei Shiomi, and Penny Beeckles-Ulewa have all won medals for Zwangzug.

Athletes from Zwangzug have competed in twelve Olympic Games; the Games of the II Olympiad, the Games of the III Olympiad, the Fourth Winter Olympics, the Games of the IV Olympiad, the Fifth Winter Olympics, the Games of the V Olympiad, the Sixth Winter Olympics, the Games of the VI Olympiad, the Seventh Winter Olympics, the Games of the VII Olympiad, the Eighth Winter Olympics, and the Games of the VIII Olympiad. They have won a total of 92 medals in the Summer Olympics, and 24 in the Winter Olympics.

These delegations have been led by, respectively, people unable to keep track of their gymnasts' ages, bureaucrats in a building about to be bulldozed, corporate leaders who knew far too little about skiing events, a nationalistic quasi-criminal, athletes whose only commonality was participation in a non-Olympic sport, bikers whose heyday disappeared as quickly as it had come, alpine skiiers unaware of their co-competitors, government officials who were definitely not sponsoring things with taxpayer money or whatever, college kids, and people with some backhanded methods of supporting gender equality (which is now an enduring trend). In recognition of this supreme organizational competence, Zwangzug was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Olympic Council following the Sixth Winter Olympics. This appointment has, perhaps comfortingly, expired.

Second Summer Olympics

Zwangzug sent a delegation to the Second Summer Olympics comparatively recently after emerging into the international scene. The country had much to learn about international sport, as evidenced by its inexplicable participation, which included overly-keen investigative journalists, an inexplicable kayaker, nerdy field hockey players, sonnets, an autistic racewalker, nominating the only demonstration event held at the games, an insufficiently-occupied head of state, and gymnasts who were, in retrospect, probably just having trouble with the time dilation but nobody realized it then. It was one of the latter, Jessie Layn, who earned the country's first Olympic medal; a silver in the uneven bars.

Citing concerns about the actual wintriness thereof, Zwangzug did not send a delegation to the Third Winter Olympics.

Third Summer Olympics

By the time of the Third Summer Olympics, however, the national athletic leadership was far more competent, and had assembled a significantly larger delegation. Zwangzug finished with ten medals overall, two of them gold.

The first of those medals would come on the sixth day of competition, with Brigid Minot recording the best time in the women's solo slalom kayak semifinal and finishing in second overall. A full complement of kayakers fit in surprisingly well, aided by three more medals throughout the games.
With World Baseball Classic 8 overlapping with the Olympics, Zwangzug sent separate men's and women's national teams to Columbia that blended veterans from the main national team to its future players. The men's team lost their first game to Jasīʼyūn, but ultimately rallied to clinch a playoff spot on the final day of group play, defeating Adihan to earn the head-to-head tiebreaker. The women's team, meanwhile, would go a perfect 6-0 in the group stage, but lose their semifinal game to Secristan. The men ultimately defeated Newmanistan, and the women Maineiacs, to win gold and bronze respectively.

The Olympics provided an opportunity for Zwangzug's cycling team, much-heralded domestically but with limited international experience, to prove their worth on the world stage. The country's cyclists earned two bronze medals, both in men's team track cycling, and both, coincidentally, against opponents from Roumberre. The pursuit team won by lapping their opposition, and the sprint team would also win if less impressively.

Triathlete Kelsey Rosenbaum provided Zwangzug's first Olympic gold with a strong performance in the running portion, while its most surprising medalist was likely Eric Haus. Though the country's sprinters were not considered particularly strong, Haus won bronze in the 400 meter dash. Perhaps the most surprising success came from the women's indoor volleyball team, which upset both Nuevos aires and Secristan in straight sets en route to an improbable quarterfinal berth.

Name

Sport

Event

Brigid Minot

Canoeing

Womenís slalom K-1

Morris Echo
Rafael Quixote
Otto Clift
Lloyd Streer

Cycling

Menís track team pursuit

Kelsey Rosenbaum

Triathlon

Womenís

Eric Haus

Athletics

Menís 400 m

Lothar Ithack
Alvin Drumm
Matt Kim

Cycling

Menís track team sprint

Men's team

Baseball

Women's team

Baseball

Carl Mellon

Canoeing

Menís flatwater K-1 500 m

Hanna Olafsson
Molly Traynor

Canoeing

Womenís flatwater K-2 500 m

Fourth Winter Olympics

After the bureaucracy disbanded, Olympic leadership fell to a coalition of companies with the financial ability to sponsor Zwangzug's athletes. The ill-fated Zwangzugian Olympic Merchandising Group took care not to cross the many lines restricting advertisements in the country, but would ultimately face greater challenges than legalistic restrictions. Things started on a high note, however, with Tris Daley's silver medal in luge on the first day of competition, despite his deep-seated belief that there was no such thing as luge ability.

A combination of prevailing cold weather and an appreciation for sports involving tactical insight had given Zwangzug a rich if insular curling tradition. While the national teams emphasized such virtues as perseverance against all odds that still allowed theoretical possibilities for comebacks, the international community's preference for traits such as sportsmanlike concession presented a rude awakening to Zwangzug's teams. Once the women got over the fact that their opponents would on occasion hand them victory, though, they eventually won a bronze medal.

Thanks to an ample supply of mountains, Zwangzug also featured several skillful alpine skiers, and Maureen Hegna took gold in the women's downhill race. Unfortunately, alpine was about the only variety of skiing that the ZOMG understood. Gwyneth MacIntosh's dubious claims of being both "super" and "G" did not help her in the super-G event--though to the ZOMG's credit, they were able to enter eventual silver medalist Daisy Keirnan. Mogul skiing, on the other hand, was assumed to be a type of skiing for moguls, and the closest approximation to corporate bigwigs that Zwangzug could produce unsurprisingly failed. The last straw, however, came as the Olympics were winding down, when it was discovered that the country's cross-country skiing hopefuls had not made it to Kelssek at all, but were rather racing each other across Zwangzug itself.

Name

Sport

Event

Tris Daley

Luge

Menís individual

Maureen Hegna

Alpine Skiing

Womenís downhill

Daisy Kiernan

Alpine Skiing

Womenís super-G

Women's team

Curling

Fourth Summer Olympics

Left to pick up the pieces of Zwangzug's Olympic participation, Kristin Petzar brought an altogether new face to the team. The coach of the national men's softball team, which had not participated in the previous summer games, Petzar emphasized ability in events with few entries in the hopes of earning lots of medals for the country. While such nationalism was and remains rare in Zwangzug, her dedication made her a good fit for the job, and the medal tally would surpass most expectations.

That tally began with Breanna Sapphire's silver medal on the first morning of competition, putting Zwangzug in a tie for third place in the first medal table. Sapphire's silver was followed by one for the women's archery team. Their male counterparts would take bronze, and Bert Judson win an individual gold. Zwangzug would climb to a tie for third again when slalom canoer Edward Putilly, slalom kayaker Adrian Connors, and weightlifter Bart Venture all took gold within hours of each other. With canoers joining the kayakers, canoeing provided nine of Zwangzug's medals, the most of any sport. Despite a domestic crackdown on violent sports, the country's wrestlers and boxers took eight medals each, with judo and taekwondo supplying a further three. Ultimately, only ten of the country's medals would come from events that Zwangzugians had previously entered. Even the cycling success was due in some part to BMX riders Janet Seres (gold) and Ryan Alshaw (silver)--BMX was the only cycling category that Zwangzug had not entered in Columbia.

Zwangzug finished with fifty-five medals overall, third-most in the Games, though it came seventh on the overall medal table. Any patriotism that the results spawned, however, diminished in the aftermath of the tournament, when it was revealed that the slew of crossbow-thwarted break-ins across Zwischen prior to the Olympics had been Petzar's attempt at a national archery trial.

Name

Sport

Event

Brianna Sapphire

Weightlifting

Womenís 48 kg

Nicole Cedar-Riverside
Jean Augstad
Mia Lucend

Archery

Womenís team

Alfred Poole
Mike Lingbloom
Bert Judson

Archery

Menís team

Kevin Sheld

Weightlifting

Menís 62 kg

Jeremy Socato

Judo

Menís 81 kg

Ellen Ladd

Judo

Womenís 63 kg

Michelle Teagues

Weightlifting

Womenís 63 kg

Edward Putilly

Canoeing

Menís Slalom C-1

Adrian Connors

Canoeing

Menís Slalom K-1

Bart Venture

Weightlifting

Menís 77 kg

Niccolo DeLillo

Swimming

Menís 200 m butterfly

Yvette Bellview
Felicia Jin

Canoeing

Womenís slalom C-2

Sean Kaplan

Weightlifting

Menís 85 kg

Tova Singer

Weightlifting

Womenís 75 kg

Faith Crandall
Jane Belco

Rowing

Womenís coxless pairs

Patsy Lupe

Weightlifting

Womenís over 75 kg

Bert Judson

Archery

Menís individual

Robin Scholl
Ben Oxborough
Mark Plenar
Ben Dechar

Rowing

Menís quadruple sculls

Men's team

Rowing

Menís coxed eights

Sandra Yaxle
Marguerite Cheog
Alexis Vanderbilt
Elsa Higgins

Rowing

Womenís lightweight coxless fours

Anna Sacco

Wrestling

Womenís Greco-Roman 48 kg

Chloe Figgs
Samantha Musselan
Melissa Rockard

Cycling

Womenís track team sprint

Tina Cember

Wrestling

Womenís Greco-Roman 63 kg

Ophelia Darby

Wrestling

Womenís Greco-Roman 72 kg

Elisa Wolf

Diving

Womenís 3 m springboard

Paige LaMott

Cycling

Womenís individual pursuit

Gil Hewlett

Wrestling

Menís Greco-Roman 84 kg

Ellsworth Simpson

Wrestling

Menís Greco-Roman 96 kg

Rebecca Auster

Wrestling

Womenís Freestyle 55 kg

Gloria Triskai

Wrestling

Womenís Freestyle 72 kg

Barry Hapston

Sailing

Menís One Person Dinghy

Jake Schilling

Wrestling

Menís Freestyle 60 kg

Merle Finklehof

Swimming

Womenís 10000 m marathon

Colin Sterdoff
Jeremy Wickham

Synchronized swimming

Menís Duet

Ryan Alshaw

Cycling

Menís BMX

Janet Seres

Cycling

Womenís BMX

Kent Carroll
Sammy Bencomo

Sailing

Menís keelboat

Erik Freese

Canoeing

Menís Flatwater C-1 1000 m

Tyrone Whell
Erek Freese

Canoeing

Menís Flatwater C-2 1000 m

Daisy Sullivan

Canoeing

Womenís Flatwater C-1 1000 m

Vera Mazin

Taekwondo

Womenís 67 kg

Reba Oxford

Canoeing

Womenís Flatwater C-1 500 m

Patricia Mant
Reba Oxford

Canoeing

Womenís Flatwater C-2 500 m

Irene Brigham
Solveig O'Keefe
Siri Taigal
Helga Darmutti

Canoeing

Womenís Flatwater K-4 500 m

Esther Ryder

Boxing

Womenís Flyweight

Isabella Quoral

Boxing

Womenís Middleweight

Gayle Sanford

Boxing

Womenís Heavyweight

Men's team

Synchronized Swimming

Alyssa Lancaster

Boxing

Womenís Bantamweight

Susanne Meadows

Boxing

Womenís Featherweight

Emma Miller

Cycling

Womenís Mountain

Lucy Neagle

Cycling

Womenís track individual sprint

Eliot Piroga

Boxing

Menís light flyweight

Scott Loman

Boxing

Menís Bantamweight

Sarah Roark

Boxing

Womenís Lightweight

Fifth Winter Olympics

The responsibility of leading the delegation to the Fifth Winter Olympics fell to a group of nostalgic broomball players who had restarted a broomball tournament after a short hiatus. The new tournament's overwhelming popularity meant the Olympic roster could be drawn entirely from tournament participants. The broomball players' flair for drama meant that more sliding and extreme sports were represented than in the previous Winter Olympics; events requiring skating ability had less impressive competitors when they had any at all.

Rufus Skridmott improved upon Daley's performance, leading after every run of the men's luge competition. Amelia Dukarnal also "defended" Maureen Hegna's downhill gold, taking the spotlight away from an otherwise underwhelming showing by the alpine skiiers; of Zwangzug's ten other entries there touted as or more highly than Dukarnal, only four managed to record appropriate times without disqualification or crashing. The ice hockey teams, despite exerting plenty of effort in finding the perfect nicknames, won only one game between the two of them. Continuing the trend of excellence in events that required little more than obeying the laws of gravity, Zebra Mardi and Rose Laurkman won silver medals in skeleton and skicross.

The cross-country team, despite actually making it to S„o Jorge, at first seemed destined to do little better than their predecessors, after broomball-penalty-shot-practicing and then oversleeping precluded multiple skiiers from competing as scheduled. They were belatedly allowed to record times, however, and the team slowly turned a corner with unheralded Jim Chetigo and Stanley Karnack qualifying for the team sprint final. On the second-to-last day of competition, Nicole Moon earned silver in the 30km classical competition. And on the final day, Gilbert Quather brought home gold in the 50km event Zwangzug had failed to enter in Alavaria.

Name

Sport

Event

Rufus Skridmott

Luge

Menís individual

Amelia Dukarnal

Alpine Skiing

Womenís downhill

Zebra Mardi

Skeleton

Menís

Rose Laurkman

Freestyle Skiing

Womenís skicross

Nicole Moon

Cross-country Skiing

Womenís 30 km classic

Gilbert Quather

Cross-country Skiing

Menís 50 km classic

Fifth Summer Olympics

By the time of the Fifth Summer Olympics, Zwangzug had an established road cycling organization, with its cyclists performing well in international competitions. More suited to organizing a summer delegation than their (admittedly overlapping) broomball-playing counterparts, the cyclists declared themselves in charge. The roster process consisted of including top talent in the road races, hastily converting road cyclists to other disciplines, coaxing cyclists who'd been previously successful in other disciplines to return, and inviting a full contingent of returning and new weightlifters after the success of Aeropag.

It paid off, more or less; Jack Robavlin took silver in the men's road race on the first day of competition, and two weightlifters won medals on the same day. Concerns about ties, illegal entries on the part of other delegations, time dilation, ear wax, the possible judgementality of residents of Outineau, and Will Karowick's refusal to understand the French language failed to mar the overall experience, as Zwangzug finished with a "leet" total of one gold and three each of silver and bronze medals for a total of seven. Most impressively, and overshadowing a simultaneous weightlifting silver, Zwangzug's only gold medal of the games was won by the women's track cycling sprint team. It was a personal title defense for Melissa Rockard, the first Olympian from Zwangzug even to have a chance at doing so!

Name

Sport

Event

Jack Roblavin

Cycling

Menís road race

Imogene Eno

Weightlifting

Womenís 69 kg

Marvin Tianlow

Weightlifting

Menís 85 kg

Heather Wilson

Weightlifting

Womenís 75 kg

Eloise Simmons
Susanne Deridoy
Melissa Rockard

Cycling

Womenís track team sprint

Artur Herald

Weightlifting

Menís 105 kg

Claire Scholl

Cycling

Womenís points race

Sixth Winter Olympics

Already successful in Alpine Skiing World Cup 1, Zwangzug sent a large contingent of alpine skiiers to Ashton. Dolores Ribey, the only returnee, improved upon her fifth-place finish in the previous Super-G to take bronze. Two days later, Marlen Caves would win gold in the men's competition. Penny Beeckles-Ulewa won bronze in giant slalom, but Zwangzug could not continue its "streak" of golds in women's downhill, with Vera Sokoll settling for fourth place in the last alpine skiing competition. Zwangzug's snowboarders, drawn from mountains perhaps more renowned for their skiing, underwhelmed so utterly than the alpine skiiers failed to realize they were actually present at the Olympics, calling into question said skiers' ability to organize Zwangzug's delegations long-term.

Name

Sport

Event

Dolores Ribey

Alpine Skiing

Womenís super-G

Marlen Caves

Alpine Skiing

Menís super-G

Penny Beeckles-Ulewa

Alpine Skiing

Womenís giant slalom

Sixth Summer Olympics

The government was pressed into delegation-organizing service after a tolerable job at the First Winter Paralympics. Returning cyclists helped smooth the transition, or at least tried to--Tim Wiser's attempt at an anonymous memo that specified the harmlessness of time dilation did prove useful after June McKiegges' eleven-and-a-half minute tennis match, but the parts about how to respond to athlete death were tragically less applicable. Wiser and the men's pursuit team won gold, although that wouldn't be Zwangzug's greatest news of the day; the women's track cycling sprint team were busy winning their third gold in as many summer games! Susanne Deridoy was its lone holdover from Outineau. Zwangzug wound up home to two more cycling medalists, in the road race and BMX (though Amy Peerbard, bronze medalist in the latter, would really prefer if you called it BME).

Austin Fauden, a Department of Health Worker by day, wound up winning the men's singles golf demonstration event despite downplaying his chances, to his fellow bureaucrats' resentment. Jaropelk Schowicz and Wanda Amathke made to to the bocce final before losing. However, they did beat a Cafundelense pair in the semifinals, thus exceeding the expectation of Department of Citizens' Affair worker, and tennis nut, Stan. Despite his commentary's penchant for DEUUUUUUCEs, he was remarkably successful in scoring interviews with medalists from across the world. The nervous government, however, was only too glad to pass power on to a coalition of representatives from minor sports at the tournament's end.

Name

Sport

Event

Rin Suzuki

Cycling

Womenís road race

Scott Part
Daniel Wehaum
Jamie Robelli
Tim Wiser

Cycling

Menís track team pursuit

Phyllis Leingo
Susanne Deridoy
Becky Fith

Cycling

Womenís track team sprint

Amy Peerbard

Cycling

Womenís BMX

Rebby Moonock
Sue Ston

Sailing

Womenís two-person dinghy

Seventh Winter Olympics

Zwangzug sent a team drawn predominantly from colleges and universities to the Seventh Winter Olympics, a project that had been in place even before the SC^3 football controversy. While worries about gender-parity law had already begun in earnest, that delegation was not affected, and duly proceeded to do well. For the third time in four Olympic games, a gold medal for Zwangzug overshadowed lesser medals earned on the same day (Jen Corcoran-Freck took gold ski jumping and Petr Claybury bronze in luge). Then, for the fourth time in as many games, the same thing happened again, with Dianna Witter and Rose Delton winning bobsleigh and Blythe Haust taking second in cross-country skiing. There was concern at the end of the tournament, however, that some of the athletes were willing to underperform out of spite, and the youth were removed from responsibility for the upcoming games.

Name

Sport

Event

Jen Corcoran-Freck

Ski Jumping

Womenís individual normal hill

Petr Claybury

Luge

Menís Individual

Mikayla Shaddil

Alpine Skiing

Womenís downhill

Stephan Stangter

Freestyle Skiing

Menís aerials

Dianna Witter
Rose Delton

Bobsleigh

Two-woman

Blythe Haust

Cross-country Skiing

Womenís 15 km pursuit

Seventh Summer Olympics

After the Atlanta Johnson incident required the government of Zwangzug to stress the importance of gender-integrated sports, Zwangzug's delegation to the Summer Olympics was considerably impacted. Out were many team events that needed to be segregated; in were lots of men and a few very talented women. The delegation peaked early, with Sasha Karoff-Kachham taking one of the first sets of medals awarded in the cycling road race, and then earning more cycling and weightlifting medals. Roshni Joshi set an Olympic record in the women's 58 kg event, which is to date the only sustained Olympic record set by am athlete from Zwangzug. Her fellow Namirite, Parveen Chandoy, would win a swimming bronze.

The best was in some sense yet to come; not until weeks after the tournament did it truly sink in that Nanami Watanabe had won the gold in the women's road time trial at the same time Chandoy was winning bronze. This celebratory mood made up for what had been an otherwise tepid reaction to the competence of the integrated delegation.

Name

Sport

Event

Sasha Karoff-Kachham

Cycling

Menís road race

Miranda Bolley

Weightlifting

Womenís 53kg

Roshni Joshi

Weightlifting

Womenís 58kg

Nanami Watanabe

Cycling

Womenís Time Trial

Parveen Chandoy

Swimming

Womenís 100m Backstroke

Zanna Helm-Coom

Cycling

Womenís Keirin

Nace Buterges
Harold Koshon

Rowing

Menís Coxless Pairs

Eighth Winter Olympics

Buoyed by how that worked out, if belatedly, similar policies were instituted for the next games (and are expected to remain in place for the near future). Isi Atwer-Fosky took gold in ski jumping on the first day, and Vadim Milrott-Sald and Mim Worlsto won alpine skiing medals in the same day, though there would not be any overshadowments of the sort previously common. Zwangzug's fans were thrilled by the City Centre Efficient Rapid Transit Network, and opportunities for poetry afforded thereby, while the ever-relevant Kerlagrad Courier baffled some foreign readers.

Name

Sport

Event

Isi Atwer-Fosky

Ski jumping

Men's individual normal hill

Vadim Milrott-Sald

Alpine skiing

Menís slalom

Mim Worlsto

Alpine skiing

Womenís Giant Slalom

Allen Milrowian

Freestyle skiing

Menís ski cross

Eighth Summer Olympics

The Zwangzug press was relatively quiet during the beginning of the games, multiple weightlifting medals notwithstanding, although a helpful flowchart allowed for substitute journalism to be provided (mostly from Kytlerian social media accounts). Later on, slalom (and flatwater) kayaking would be reaffirmed as awesome by those who remembered the Association for the Advancement of Awesome, and concerns about the wrong kind of Omni film would plague documentarians at the cycling meets (though it did allow for some semblance of national culture to be briefly shown off at the end of the tournament). And, amid a decorated career, Watanabe would defend her gold medal in the time trial.

Name

Sport

Event

Bao Xu

Weightlifting

Womenís 48 kg

Nanami Watanabe

Cycling

Womenís Time Trial

Dolores Ingham

Canoeing

Womenís Slalom K-1

Ryan Shoons
Dana Bellori
Oswald Censto
Marc Fliz-Sura

Rowing

Menís Quad Sculls

Kliment Hamori-Kler

Weightlifting

Menís 94 kg

Henry Sciothke-Mato

Canoeing

Menís flatwater K-1 1000 m

Hirune Moto-Ueno
Bailey Kotamo

Canoeing

Womenís flatwater K-2 500 m

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