The Asterix Project

Asterix at the Olympic Games  (French: Asterix aux jeux olympiques) is the 12th comic book album in the Asterix series. Serialized in Pilote issues 434-455 in 1968 (to coincide with the Mexico City Olympics), it was translated into English in 1972 (to coincide with the Munich Olympics). The story satirizes performance enhancing drug usage in sports.


While out hunting, Asterix and his friend Obelix run across a sports champion of one of the local Roman garrisons named Gluteus Maximus., who is to participate in the Olympic Games. Under the effects of magic potion, they beat the Roman athlete in everything he attempts, temporarily breaking his resolve. Later on, the Gauls decide to participate in the Games as well, under the view that - as part of the Roman world - they are legally Romans (only free-born Greek citizens were allowed to compete in the ancient Olympics, but under pressure an exception was made for their Roman occupiers). They later arrive in Greece for the games, and are entered in the list of participants, much to the surprise of the Greeks and the consternation of the Romans.

Eventually the Romans file a protest about the magic potion, which is banned by the Olympic officials; this decision would seem to put an end to the Gauls' attempts to win a golden palm (the Greeks and the Romans being much fitter and better trained). However, in an ingenious twist, Asterix and the druid Getafix leak the location of the potion to the Romans, who, in their desire to win an important race, all take the banned substance — which is laced with a dye which turns their tongues blue — and are disqualified, leaving Asterix as the winner by default (though the villagers act as if he won by his own efforts).

After the Gauls return home, it is revealed that Asterix had given the victor's golden palms to Gluteus Maximus, since the latter had needed it more than him. And for once, Julius Caesar is pleased, and Maximus and his centurion coach are both promoted.


  • The scenes where Asterix is forbidden to use the magic potion during the Olympic Games is a reference to doping in modern sport events.
  • The Gauls visit the Akropolis and the Parthenon.
  • The isle of Rhodes has sent only one contestant, a colossal one. This references the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Although he is seen in several previous albums, this album is the first where Geriatrix is named and starts his role as a major secondary character.
  • This is the first time Fulliautomatix is named since his character and appearance are "finalized." Although he is named in the first album he is otherwise unrecognizable. He officially now becomes another recurring secondary character.
  • This is probably the only time an Asterix comic has mentioned anyone's actual age, as it says Geriatrix is 93. However, this is not consistent in all translations—in some he is said to be 80.
  • During the efforts of Paris to get the right to host the 1992 Summer Olympics, the Bid Committee published a poster where Asterix holds a torch over the Eiffel Tower, and a short Asterix Olympics story was created to promote the bid.
  • There are a few minor objects that shows a reference to the modern olympic games such as the parade of nations, the podium, the Olympic village, and the Olympic Oath.
  • Although the story says that the only outsiders to participate in the ancient olympics are Romans, it is unknown whether it happened in real history especially since the Romans were Greek descendents.
  • One panel shows a Greek woman who protests against the men-only view of the Olympic games and swears that one day women will not only view the games but also participate in them. This is a prediction to the first modern Olympic Games (women viewing of the games) and their eventual participation (since the 1928 games in Amsterdam).