Sonic Being a Terrible Swimmer in Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: A Review

Yes, I’m blaming Sonic for my terrible video game swimming in Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. And drag.

I have a dirty little secret. As much as I know the Olympic games are a shitshow politically, I often get really into them. Events I know nothing about are fodder for learning a bit about human strength, agility, perseverance, and indeed beauty, and events I do know something about, or have competed in on a (much) smaller level, like any of the running or endurance sports, boxing, judo, etc., get my little jock heart going something fierce. 

By the transitive property, I also enjoy Olympic (video) games. Especially the goofy ones. Now, Tokyo Olympics 2020 is an officially licensed game with some (varying) fidelity to the sports in question. But it also allows you to compete in a Sonic the Hedgehog outfit right from the outset, and OF COURSE I did things that way.

sonic swimming takeoff

I immediately suited up and got my hedgehog’s feet wet with the 100m sprint aquatic event. Gotta go fast and all that!

Now, I don’t compete in high-level swimming. But I do know that the elite athletes compete in suits that reduce drag in the water, and they shave their body hair for the same reason. I’m going to blame my/Sonic’s extremely poor performance in this event on the fact that they made him compete with his full fluffy presence, without even a high-tech swimsuit to help him glide across the water. There should be a full shave option for him, or SOMETHING.

But yeah, I came in last. Cue the Sonic underwater panic timer.


  • It’s Sonic! In the water!
  • Gotta go fast!
  • The rhythm element of the swimming game is pretty fun and fairly intuitive in how it maps to freestyle. I think I may actually do much better if I practice a little.
  • Sonic’s goofy animation after the event says it all.
  • I can’t even believe there are no swimsuit options, this poor hedgehog is dragging the water the whole way and it is not very aerodynamic/aquadynamic at all. They don't even give him a swim cap! Or goggles! He's wearing SNEAKERS for god's sake! It's like they want him to lose.
  • Where the hell is Mario? We know he at least has a bathing suit...

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