You could always rely on Woolworths

Reader submission by Alain Elliott
Olympic Summer Games. It’s not a game I hear a lot about when people talk about their favourite video games. Even when people talk about their favourite Olympics-based games. I rarely see it mentioned. But it is a game I have very fond memories of.

I’m not sure of the reason but a thirteen year old me needed to get Olympic Summer Games the day it was released. The Nintendo 64 was a good nine moths away and I had no interest in the Sony PlayStation or Sega Saturn, I was Nintendo through and through. I had not given up on my SNES and I was willing to pay the £39.99 price tag of this game but I didn’t quite have enough money with only a few days before it’s release.

Luckily for me my younger brother also wanted the latest button-bashing Super Nintendo game so he added a small amount of money. Still a bit short, I sent my brother to the local second hand games shop with a copy of my beloved PGA Tour 96 for Game Boy which I had had for less than six months and thought I’d get the last £10 we needed. It was not enough though as he came back with just £5. In truth, I don’t remember how we got the last few pounds (we needed bus fare into town and back too) but I assume we begged our parents for it and they gave in.


The day came and we hopped on to a bus into town to get Olympic Summer Games from Woolworths. It was indeed £39.99. But just before we walked into the store, we noticed that today was the day that HMV was opening on the Isle of Wight and it was opening directly opposite Woolworths. This was a big thing, we’d never had a big shop on the Island that was solely dedicated to music, films and TV. With this, I had a brainwave. HMV would surely have some form of offers and sales for its big opening? So before we purchased this game we’d check out HMV first.

There was a small problem though. HMV’s opening included the indie band Dodgy playing a small set outside the store in front of several hundred fans/customers. We joined the crowd and although we definitely could hear music by Dodgy, we were quite small and the crowd was quite big so we never actually saw them. The sound quality was so bad that still to this day I’m unsure whether Dodgy played or they just played some of their songs on the speaker system. A quick google search does not give any answers.

Then the doors opened and it took a while to get in because we weren’t at the front of the queue but when we did we headed straight to the games section. We looked and looked but no Olympic Summer Games on display. In fact, there was no SNES games at all. We may have moved on to the 32-bit era but all HMV had and all that was for sale were Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn games, so we walked straight back out the door and into the now very empty Woolworths store directly opposite to pay full price for the game.

This story has a happy ending though. We played Olympic Summer Games for the rest of the day, the rest of that summer and more. There’s been some great Olympics games before and since but this SNES one will always remain my favourite.