Google has thrown its entire creative weight behind the London 2012 Olympics. Each day of the games, the website has featured a Google Doodle highlighting a relevant Olympic event. Yesterday that meant the javelin throw was spotlighted for the day, though it may have been overshadowed by the late addition of the Mars rover Curiosity in the background of the Doodle.
Today, the newest Google Doodle is highlighting hurdling. In a fun twist, the Doodle is actually a playable mini-game that challenges players to jump virtual hurdles and compare their best times. The game is played using the left and right arrow keys to make the hurdler run, and the space key to jump. At the end of the race, a player’s time is given in seconds and a number of medals is awarded for the time. It will take nimble fingers and good timing to snag a time low enough to earn three medals. Players who are proud of their time can share it through Google+.
It is worth mentioning that the Doodle is a sort of QWOP-lite. QWOP the simple, yet frustratingly difficult, flash game that has become popular online. The hurdler in the Google Doodle even bears a a striking resemblance to the runner in that game. The QWOP runner was also featured in the first Olympic Google Doodle.
As for real-life hurdles, the start of the 2012 men’s 110m hurdles got off to a surprising start this morning. Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, the current Olympic record-holder for that event, stumbled over his first hurdle and aggravated long-standing injuries. Xiang was only able to limp to the finish line. Xiang set his current Olympic record with a dominant victory in the 110m hurdles at the Athens 2004 Olympics. That gold medal-winning victory can be seen in the video below: