If you’ve lost your marbles, here’s where to find them: Dutch marble racers find international fame

The American TV show, “Last night with John Oliver”, had a feature of what is arguably one of the most famous competitions to come out of the Netherlands: marble races.

In the absence of contact sports, watching marble races is the competition the world needs more than ever, John Oliver said.

Jelle’s Marble Races

The marble races were created by two Dutch brothers from Nijmegen: Jelle and Dion Bakker, reports NOS.

Jelle has autism and has been very focused on marbles and creating race tracks for them since he was very young, his brother Dion confirms. They posted two videos back in 2006 on Youtube, and ever since, the ambitious project has continued to develop. From just a couple of marbles to full-blown leagues and championships, the marble races are truly an epic sport.

The brothers already had a substantial fanbase of 800,000 followers. They even have the races commented by racing commentator Greg Woods, and they were previously featured on BBC and CNN.

However, ever since the broadcast on John Oliver, their channel has received 100,000 new subscribers daily, allowing them to now work and live full-time out of their marble races. John Oliver will become the main sponsor of the channel, with 5,000 dollars being donated to a food bank in the name of every winning team in a league game, and a further 20,000 dollars to an international aid organization in the name of the league winner.

Baker has not revealed how much money they will be making, except the fact that they will make “serious money” and that they will manage to reward their long-time collaborator who has helped them with the project.

“Not surprised by the attention”

Dion Bakker is happy with the attention they received from John Oliver, but they’re not surprised. According to him, people have fan clubs for individual marbles, such as “Red Number 3”.

People seem to be very passionate about marbles. Once, a marble broke, and he received thousands of messages every day from people asking for news about the injuries of the marble. Whatever is the case, we also certainly ask for a speedy recovery for the marble in question.

Which marble are you betting your money on in the next league game? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons



Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.


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