In order to begin the game, you must first choose which of the three modes you wish to play.
- Training Mode: In Training Mode, you may choose one out of twelve possible events to practice. The twelve available events are those which you must compete in during Olympic mode, and do not include the two exhibition events (Hang Gliding or Gun Firing) or the one unique Versus Mode event, Arm Wrestling. You may train with one or two players (note that if you choose two players, each player must take turns except Freestyle Swimming and Hurdles where you compete head to head). If you successfully qualify in your chosen event, you are automatically advanced to the next event in the list. If you successfully complete every event in the list, you start back over with more difficult qualifications to achieve.
- Olympic Mode: In Olympic Mode, you select a country and represent that country's athletes in their quest for olympic gold. You must compete in 12 events across four days (3 events per day). As long as you qualify in all three of a single day's events, you are given a password and permitted to advance to the next day. If you fail to qualify in one or more of the days events, the game is over, and you must enter a password to resume play at the start of the day. Between each day, you are given access to two exhibition events (Hang Gliding and Gun Firing) which are just for fun. Success or failure in these events has no impact on your progress.