Top Gear Winter Olympics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Top Gear Winter Olympics
Presented by Jeremy Clarkson
Richard Hammond
James May
The Stig
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 1
Producer(s) Andy Wilman
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel BBC Two
Original release 12 February 2006
Related shows Top Gear
Top Ground Gear Force
Mini Cooper with the 3 rocket motors ready to go
Mini Cooper on the slope, ready for launch
Volvo XC90
Audi Q7

Top Gear: Winter Olympics is the first in a series of special episodes of BBC motoring programme Top Gear. The episode was broadcast on 12 February 2006 and released on DVD on 5 June 2006. The episode was viewed by 5 million people on its first showing,[1] and a further 530,000 watched a repeat on 19 February 2006.[2]


Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May travel to Lillehammer, Norway to recreate their own version of the Winter Olympics. The format consists of a series of Winter Olympic sports that have been adapted to be played using motor cars, with the losers of each challenge having to eat golden, yellow snow. The end credits of the episode were edited to show Jeremy Clarkson as Björn Clarkson, Richard Hammond as Benny Hamond, James May as Agnetha May and The Stig as Anni-Frid Stig, whilst every other crew member in the credits had their first name replaced with Björn. This is a reference to the members of Swedish pop group ABBA.



  • Biathlon

Clarkson raced a Volvo XC90 against May in an Audi Q7, cross-country, with 2 shooting rounds mid-course while every missed target gives 5 penalty seconds. May used a standard Biathlon .22 rifle, while Clarkson opted for a H&K MP5 Sub machine gun. Despite the increased firepower, Clarkson missed every target and felled a tree. May missed only 2 targets in the final shooting round. However, near the end, he crashed into a tree and had to dig himself out. Despite this, May re-overtook Clarkson at the end and won the race.

  • Cold Weather Endurance

Hammond was subjected to Arctic temperatures in a Citroën C1, in a bid to see who will crack first: man or machine? After being subjected to a temperature of about minus-40 Celsius, Hammond narrowly beat the car, concluding that 'if you're going to drive to the North Pole, buy a Hammond'. Ironically, this was disproved in later series by his runner-up placing without a car in the Polar Challenge.

  • Speed Skating

Clarkson raced a Jaguar XK against a human skater, introduced by May as Eskil Ervik, on the ice course of Vikingskipet Olympic Arena. Clarkson was terrible at this event as his Jag had no grip whatsoever, being lapped twice by Ervik.

  • Off-Road Slalom

May and Clarkson raced a four-wheel drive Land Rover Discovery and a two-wheel drive Jaguar XK against the clock, on just about five inches of frozen lake. May declared himself the winner as he was the fastest with 2:03.28, but was disputed by Clarkson, who claimed his run to have been more graceful and interesting.

  • Bobsleigh

In an attempt to avenge a previously failed attempt, Hammond and a bobsleigh team race against May and a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution rally car piloted by Norwegian Henning Solberg, along near-identical courses. Hammond won with 59.68 in the end, May's time was 1:02.24.

  • Ice Hockey

Ten Suzuki Swifts played 5-a-side hockey, in teams captained by Hammond and May, and refereed by Clarkson. May's team was called "primetime television" playing in Buffalo Sabres colours, while Hammond's team was called "daytime television" playing in Montreal Canadiens colours.[3] At one point, Hammond's team were winning 3-0, but a biased Clarkson intervened and successfully helped May to 3-2. Hammond's team then scored two more goals. Later, Hammond crashed into May's car and was sent to penalty box ("sin bin"), so May could score another goal. The result was supposedly 5-4 to Hammond's team, although only three of May's team's goals were shown in the programme.

  • Ski Jump

The trio attempt to find out if a rocket-powered 1986 Mini could jump further than a skier from a downhill slope. The Mini didn’t manage to beat the skier and ended up crashing into a wall of hay made at the end of the ski jump, but the fact that they did manage to get a car down a ski jump is extraordinary nonetheless. The challenge was then concluded by a ski jump on a snowmobile driven by The Stig after which Clarkson joked about the pain that The Stig would have been feeling on his landing.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ TV ratings: February 12.
  2. ^ Just let everything slide
  3. ^ "BBC Top Gear Winter Olympic Production Notes". The special team colours worn by the Suzukis were based on those of two real-life hockey teams. Sadly, we can't remember which ones.