12. Asterix at the Olympic Games
French title: Astérix aux jeux olympiques
Originally published: 1968

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translations of this book
Asterix Annotations
Review at Alea Iacta Est
Olympic Asterix There is a lot of excitement in the Roman camp. The soldier Gluteus Maximus (Tallius Torsus) may represent the Romans at the Olympic games. He is quiet sure he's the best. But after a meeting with Asterix & Obelix in the woods he feels the opposite. His centurion asks the Gauls to leave Gluteus alone and let him train in peace for the games, which are only open for Greek and Roman men.
Hearing about the Olympics our friends decide to join the games too. After all since Caesar occupied Gaul so they are Romans too!
Asterix & Obelix represent the village and all the men from the village travel with them to Greece. When they arrive in the Olympic area the Romans become completely demotivated knowing they can't win against the Gauls with their magic potion. But as the Greek magistrates tell them it's forbidden to use any kind of stimulating drug, they have hope again.
Now it's Asterix who's in trouble, he can't use the magic potion. But with a list they let the Romans think there's a lot of magic potion hidden in their changing room. The Romans can't resist it and drink some of the potion and yes they win the game... But as the Romans show their blue tongues, which proves they drank the potion, the magistrates disqualify all the Romans. Yes Asterix is the only one left now, which means he's the number one!
A big, big disappointment for Gluteus Maximus and his centurion, or not ??? Greek
Banquet Pirates Guests
Well, Cacofonix takes part in the final banquet, though a little uneasy as the smith is sitting next to him, with his hammer ready. On the galey to Athens we meet the Pirates, who scuttle their own ship when they see the 'ferocious gaulish warriors'. The Gauls do not board the pirate ship as this is not included in the fare. Similar incident on the way back. Uderzo and Goscinny
Allusions and Details
(page 5)
All quiet in the village. Have a look how our friends are enjoying their siesta.
Geriatrix is picking mushrooms in this frame, an introduction to a full page of mushroom discussions on the next page. Geriatrix is starring in this story for the first time, showing a keen interest in ... eeuh ...
(page 23)
This is a very special occasion: everybody is singing, except Cacofonix who keeps his ears covered.
(page 25)
One of the Gauls is unpacking his shirts, while Fullyautomatix seems to have brought his hammers, anvil, and all. Never tarvel without a handy toolkit.
(page 25)
This statue of Athena at the Athens Parthenon was world famous in ancient times. (Only the 'world' was a lot smaller than these days.)
google images
Same page: Look at the many tourists and their nationalities at the Parthenon.
(page 26)
On close inspection there are a lot of souvenirs visible in this picture. Fullyautomatix has his vase, painted in an earlier scene. Vitalstatistix carries a small replica of the Parthenon temple (we see another replica in the group of people), an unknown person carries an amphora without deposit. And Geriatrix, mmm, he has a statue of a beautiful girl.
(page 29)
Uderzo and Goscinny
On a portrait near the entrance of the Olympic village, we see their names in Greek under the picture. They speak Despotes and Tyrannos to one another. Do you need a translation?
Also see: The creators Goscinny and Uderzo
(page 31)
Check the background in the gymnasium to find the accident. Note that weights are not carried by high jumpers but by long jumpers (?)
(page 35)
What has happened here?
(page 37)
Indeed, women were not allowed at the Olympic Games. This was allowed in modern times, though only gradually.
(page 40)
If I am not mistaken, there was no such thing as a second place in the ancient games.