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Olympic Gold Medalist's Coach Has A Link Amiibo For Good Luck

An Olympic coach brought a Link (from The Legend of Zelda) amiibo with her to the Games. Her student, Belgian gymnast Nina Derwael, won gold on the uneven bars. It apparently acts as a good luck charm.

The Legend of Zelda series is one of the most popular video game franchises of all time. The games have sold a combined 118 million copies, with several installments receiving perfect scores from critics. The 1998 title Ocarina of Time is often considered the pinnacle of the series. Its swaths of near-perfect reviews and lasting impact on gaming as a whole have made it an iconic part of video game history.

Related: Zelda: Every Child Link Weapon Adult Link Should Be Able To Use

Twitter user Nintendeal posted pictures of Marjorie Heuls, a Belgian gymnastics coach, posing with an amiibo of Link from Ocarina of Time. One of her students, Nina Derwael, won the Olympic gold medal for Women's Uneven Bars at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. According to Belgian news site HLN, the amiibo was a gift from her son and daughter in 2017. Derwael won the Bronze at the Montreal World Championships that year. From then on, it's become a bit of a good luck charm for the coach. Heuls says that it never left her bag – it's a way of keeping her children with her, even when abroad.

While it's a cute gesture from a devoted mother, some are taking issue with the amiibo itself. The pictures clearly show that Link has been removed from his stand. This stand contains the NFC chip amiibo use to function. While the chip would still scan as intended, the fact that the figure is removed would severely decrease its value. Several of the comments on Twitter are pointing out how expensive and hard-to-find the Ocarina of Time amiibo is, making the so-called "mutilation" all the more frustrating to gamers. The HLN quote also has her referring to Link as "Zelda," which is a quick way to provoke ire from the fandom. However, it could be a mistranslation or miscommunication.

Still, it's heartwarming to see one of gaming's most famous characters appear at the Olympics. Link's appearance is especially poignant after the Opening Ceremonies featured video game music, but none from Nintendo. Heuls' belief in her students and love for her children is exactly what the Olympics are about: camaraderie and friendly relationships between countries and generations. Given Ocarina of Time's emphasis on uniting the races of Hyrule and the time-travel mechanic, it makes Link's cameo all the more fitting. The memories associated with the amiibo are worth more than any monetary figure, anyway.

Next: Google's Playable 2020 Tokyo Olympics RPG References Zelda Game

Sources: Nintendeal/Twitter, HLN

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