Belgian gymnast Nina Derwael made history on the weekend after winning gold on the women’s uneven bars, the country’s first medal of any color in the sport. However gamers were quick to notice that Derwael’s coach Marjorie Heuls showed a surprising good luck charm to the cameras after the win–an Ocarina of Time Link Amiibo.
A tweet by @Nintendeal pointed out where the figure appeared in the Olympics coverage, along with a close-up of the Amiibo.
Belgian news site HLN posted an interview with the coach about the figure. She explains that it was given to her by her son, who played Zelda games as a child, and that she keeps it attached to a bracelet that her daughter made for her. The importance of the Amiibo for Heuls appears to be the connection to her son, rather than any knowledge of the games–she even refers to the Link figure as “Zelda” in the interview. Heuls says the figure hasn’t left her bag in four years, and in the wake of Derwael’s gold medal win, said it was clearly also a good luck charm for her.
While some Zelda fans were happy to see the character represented in some way on the Olympic stage, others who replied to Nintendeal’s tweet were more concerned to see that the limited edition Ocarina of Time Amiibo had been ripped from its base.
Link’s appearance at the Olympics isn’t the first time Japanese video games have been worked into the event so far, with a number of iconic video game soundtracks being used in the Opening Ceremony as athletes walked into the stadium.
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