Could things get any worse for Team Momo? After the bobsled event, they were down two members after Momomo got altitude sickness and Momomomo suffered a head injury. With the team pursuit event coming up, they needed to find some new teammates–and fast. “We were also in last place at the time, so we figured we needed to get some people with experience in this environment. We asked the IMC if we could join forces with Team Primary, as they had participated in the Marble League before. They agreed, and the rest is history.” Momo’s final sentence couldn’t be more accurate.
Some of sport’s greatest stories come from those who don’t make the hall of fame or win a championship. They come from the underdogs, ones who aren’t supposed to have any shot to win, yet they come out of nowhere and shock the world. Take the 2017 Jungle Jumpers. The team was in dead last with only three events to go in the ML, and then they got a gold and a bronze. However, what may have been the greatest underdog story happened a year later in the 2018 Marble League.
Doing this interview was emotional for me for many reasons. I’d heard of the Marble League before, but 2018 was the first year I saw it and truly became a fan. One of my favorite moments in marble sports history was Momary’s gold medal in the Snow Rally. Seeing Mo, Prim, Momo, Mary, and Mimo in their Momary uniforms again brought back those memories. I could tell that they were a little emotional as well as I found out Primary and Momo share a unique and special bond because of Team Momary.
“Prim and I were at the games along with Rima and Imar already in order to watch the ML. We hadn’t qualified but we still went to support our friends. After the Bobsled event I got a call from the IMC asking us if any of us would be able to compete. I was confused and asked what was going on since the IMC doesn’t make prank calls. I was informed that Momo decided to ask us to join forces with them to finish the ML under a new team name. I let my teammates know and immediately Prim and I agreed to compete. Imar and Rima had some trouble with adjusting to the cold, so they opted to not compete.” – Mary of Team Primary
“When we first met Mary and Rima at the Arctic circle, it was awkward at first since nothing like this had ever happened before. The IMC told us this was a unique situation. Luckily there was one thing we agreed on and it was that we needed to establish some camaraderie. Mimo volunteered to run Speed Skating so we could spend the day training for team pursuit and other events. I’d be lying if I said that we connected instantly, but over the day we became more like an actual team and it showed in our performance.”
Mimo finished 15th for Team Momary in speed skating, but his team was happy for the fact he did his best. The first team event for Momary would happen the very next day in the team pursuit. They got 8th place and advanced to the Quarterfinals after beating the Pinkies, only to lose to the eventual silver medalist Razberry Racers. “That win against the Pinkies was an amazing moment for our team. It proved to us that we could compete as teammates and it gave us a boost of confidence.”(Momo) The next day, Momo would represent his team in the Snow Rally getting 6th in the first race and winning the second one. Then, in what some consider to be one of the greatest moments in Marble Sports, Momo had tied Whizzy from the Savage Speeders in snow points; but due to the average time, Momary was awarded gold. “When we saw the results, we all ran over to Momo and started celebrating. We had done what many thought we couldn’t do. Win. During the medal ceremony, the crowd was chanting ‘Momary! Momary!’ That was unbelievable to witness. It felt like we were a true team from that moment on.” (Prim)
Event Nine was Curling and this event was one Momary wanted badly. They opened the first round against the most unpredictable team, Balls of Chaos. “They also had the hammer and they’d been known to be chaotic in the past, pun intended.”(Mo) With only Clutter left to go, Momary was up 2-1 in the first round. Clutter missed Momo and Momary got the win. “When Clutter went by me I felt a huge wave of joy. It may not seem like much but every win for us was like a medal.” (Momo) Momary then faced Mellow Yellow in the quarterfinals and, thanks to some amazing shots from Momo and Mary, they came away with a 5-4 win. “The excitement was building for us. If we could win this event it would be the story of the year.” (Prim) In the semi-finals, Momary faced the Razberry Racers and they knew they would have their hands full. However, with some great strategy and aim, Momary pulled through and won three to two and could have scored another point had Prim moved into the two point ring. “As soon as we were declared the winners we all began to celebrate. We had guaranteed ourselves a medal and at that point that was important to us.”(Mary) However, it wouldn’t be enough as they lost to the Oceanics in the finals and ended up with silver.
After twelve events Team Momary ended up in 12th overall. They had given an amazing effort after hitting rock bottom from Momomo’s and Momomomo’s injuries and were applauded greatly during the closing ceremony. “To walk under the flag of Momary during the closing was something I’ll never forget. I had forged an indescribable bond with Mary and Prim. One that I only also share with my teammates. It never felt like they were from another team during the competition. To this day it’s one of my favorite moments in my career.” (Mo) “A couple of weeks ago I wouldn’t have even imagined walking in the closing ceremony; but doing it with my new teammates from Momo and Prim is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”(Mary) “I was crying during that closing ceremony as everything hit me. We had finished the ML flying a new flag that was held by two teams. When you think about it, it makes you realize how far you’ve truly come.” (Momo) “Mary and I still couldn’t believe what we had done under Team Momary. We made new friends and it’s a bond you just can’t put into words. When I realized that we may never again compete alongside Team Momo as teammates, I started to cry. That shows how close we were and still are.” (Prim) “Training alongside Prim and Mary was an experience I’ll never forget, they pushed us as hard as they pushed each other and we did the same. I may not have gotten to compete alongside them for multiple events, but you can’t take away memories.” (Mimo)
Today, Momary has disbanded back to Team Momo and Team Primary; however, both teams remember that time fondly. Prim and Mary still have a photo of Momary in their locker rooms and both teams are close friends to this day. The two teams even have done friendly competitions off-camera without anyone watching. They also won’t reveal the record in those competitions. “It definitely feels different competing against Momo than any other team. Like you want them to win almost as much as you want to win. It’s hard to explain, but that’s the truth.” (Mary) “Mary and Prim have become those friends who call you every day just to say hi. It’s a friendship that you can only have with your family and that’s exactly what they are.” (Momo) Even Momomo, Momomomo, Imar, Rima, and Aryp have a bond that just simply can’t be described. Team Momo even split the Momotorway into three sections; red, blue, and yellow. The colors of Team Primary.
Other teams have noticed the bond that Momo and Primary share. Sublime of the Limers told me, “After the highly controversial 5M relay race in the 2019 ML qualifiers, the first team to comfort Mary after the judges denied their appeal was Momo. Mimo even tried to get into the stands to break up the fight, but was stopped by Prim in order to keep him safe. The bond that Team Momo and Team Primary share is something that we all envy.”
The bond that Team Momo and Team Primary share is something that fans won’t see by looking at a screen. As Team Momary they were the embodiment of a competitor’s spirit. They overcame adversity to have success on the biggest stage. As individual teams they’ve become the spitting image of true friends. Always working to help one another. Neither team may be a dynasty but both teams are true inspirations for ML hopefuls.
The Marble Rally embodies the best of classic marble racing. Since the dawn of marble civilization, marbles have enjoyed rolling. Not only have marbles enjoyed rolling—they’ve enjoyed rolling in competition with one another to achieve a specific objective fastest. Jelle Bakker, founder of sports association Jelle’s Marble Runs, was inspired to organize their own sports leagues following a trip to Numerun when they were just 4 years old.
Check out the final 10 athlete profiles here!
The Marble Rally embodies the best of classic marble racing. Since the dawn of marble civilization, marbles have enjoyed rolling. Not only have marbles enjoyed rolling—they’ve enjoyed rolling in competition with one another to achieve a specific objective fastest. Jelle Bakker, founder of sports association Jelle’s Marble Runs, was inspired to organize their own sports leagues following a trip to Numerun when they were just 4 years old…
FISH TO FISH MEDIA BV | Hannie Dankbaarpassage 14, 1053 RT Amsterdam, Netherlands
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED