Athletes talk gaming as Beijing 2008 game hits shops

Sega has released the official 2008 Olympics games video game on PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and mobile phones for those who just can't get enough of the Olympics action.

There are 38 events for you to take part in across track and field, and for the first time in an Olympic game, it features an online play option.

Sega has chosen U.S. gold medal contenders Amanda Beard, Tyson Gay, Nastia Liukin and Reese Hoffa to be on the cover, some of which are gamers as well as real-life athletes.

"I played the old Nintendo Olympics game with the Power Pad, where you started out as the turtle and worked your way up to the cheetah," said Beard, the youngest US swimmer to ever bring home a gold.

"My family would have competitions against other families who were close friends and we'd rock it. We'd do the triple jump and the hurdles and all of that fun stuff."

Hoffa will be competing in the men's shot put when he makes his second Olympic Games appearance in Beijing this year. The reigning world champion is a lifelong video games, who enjoys other sports games such as Madden, MLB 2K8 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf.

"Video games pass the time so much easier than just playing cards," he said. "All the guys I know bring a PS2, PSP and a controller with them to the international competitions. They get into some pretty heated Madden tournaments."

Hoffa said there was a games room at the 2004 Olympics in Athens with about 30 PlayStation 2s and Xboxes and a large library of games for athletes to play. He thinks there will be something similar at Beijing this year.

"For me, it keeps me off my feet, it keeps me engaged and I don't waste a lot of energy playing them," said Hoffa.

Gay, on the other hand, says he plans to play video games in Beijing because they take his mind off the nervousness he feels before competitions. Bless.

Beijing 2008: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games is available now.


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