The wide world of sports at the Olympics is a lot stranger than you think it is. Shooting , swimming , tennis etc are the sports that come to our minds when we think about Olympics but you will be astonished to see how some weird, super weird sports found their place in some Olympics or the other. Some are still continued but others have been discontinued. I give to you a list of sports which you didn’t have known to have existed but have, at one time or another, taken place at the Games.
1. Pigeon Shooting
What are grandfathers used to do as a hobby sport was actually a part of the Olympics . The object of this sport was to kill as many pigeons as possible. The birds were released in front of a participant and the winner was the competitor who shot down the most birds from the sky. Real pigeons were used. (I am sure at that time PeTA wasn’t there to intervene ). It was a very messy event as the end saw dead and injured pigeons on the ground and blood and feathers all over the place. Thankfully the 1900 Psrid Olympics was the only time this event was featured in the Olympics history. In the London Olympics of when running dear ere shown as targets, cardboard ones were used.
2. Race Walking
Yes, it’s true. You can actually have a race while walking. The only rule is at any moment of time one of your feet should completely touch the ground. Sounds easy? Try it once. You will very well get to know why is It an Olympic sport. the sport is largely ignored and often ridiculed, so getting the chance to race on international television once every four years ought to be cause for celebration for the runners or rather I should say walkers. The race is not small though. Men compete in 20-kilometer and 50-kilometer races while women in 20 kilometers . Racers often face disqualification because of the ultra modern cameras used for judging which easily catches if the fundamental rule of the race is followed or not. This sport has been a part of the Olympics since 1904.
3. Underwater Swim Race
A strange rather a very difficult sport. The competitors were awarded two points for each meter swum underwater, and one point for each second that they stayed under water. The popularity of the sport was less though, because the spectators could not see underwater, but with enhanced technology and with underwater cameras this event can make a comeback soon. This event was only featured once at the Paris Summer Olympics in the year 1900.
4. Swimming Obstacle Race
As strange as this sport may seem, the obstacles swimmers had to overcome are even more unusual. In the 1900 Games in Paris (the only time this sport was featured in the Olympics ), swimmers crawled over boats, swam under them and climbed a pole — all the while swimming 200 meters in the Seine. All this was done in the River Seine, so the competitors also had to cope up with the heavy current of the river. Australia bagged gold in this event . The event has been discontinued since then.
5. Roller Hockey
Take roller skating and combine it with ice hockey, what you get is roller hockey. Roller Hockey debuted at the 1992 Barcelona Games. The game follows the rules of ice hockey, but with roller skates. The rules were same was of ice hockey just that it was played with the roller skates on. The final was played between the Spanish host and Argentina, the latter being victorious. 1922 was the only year when Roller Hockey was a part of the Olympics. It will be again featured in the 2016 Oylmpic Games at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
6. Rope Climb
Rope Climbing was one of eight gymnastics events on the Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. It was introduced as a men’s event. The gymnasts who completed the climb were scored on the basis of time taken and skill used whereas who could not complete the climb were scored on the basis of the distance covered on the rope. Two Greeks took the top honors at the event followed by German at the 1896 Olympics. It was discontinued since the 1932 Olympic games, kind of like you did after high school.
7. One handed weightlifting
The weightlifting one-hand lift was on the Olympic Program in the years 1896, 1904 and 1906. This event, for men only, was similar to the modern snatch weight lifting event. Only one hand was allowed to lift the weights. The weightlifter had to perform lifts with each hand, with the winner determined from the combined score of both hands. The lifters were allowed three attempts. After each had lifted three times, the top three received three more attempts. Due to the unsafe nature of the event , it has been discontinued from the Olympic games.
8. Tug of War
They say the more the merrier. Remember the school times ,viciously yanking a rope with no regard to blisters ,just In order to smirk the opposing team into dirt. It’s hard to accept that groups pulling each other from opposite sides of a rope is actually a sport, and to accept that it was part of the Olympics from 1900 to 1920. Originally the competition was entered by groups called clubs. A country could enter more than a single club in the competition, making it possible for one country to earn multiple medals (happened with USA in 1904 when all the three medals were won by USA itself).
9. Solo synchronized swimming
Yes you read it right. Synchronized swimming was a part of the Olympics but it’s solo avatar also became it’s part in the Los Angeles Games in 1984. The swimmer had to perform a kind of water ballet in synchronization with the music. The better the synchronization more the points. It was similar to the group event just that it was performed by a single swimmer. It is surprising that it took the organizers three Olympics to realize that a person swimming alone cannot be synchronized with anyone else so it was discontinued in the 1992 Olympics.
Don’t confuse Olympics for a Circus but yes, it’s true that Trampoline is a part of the Modern Olympics since the year 2000. The Chinese have excelled at the sport since its inception at the Olympics and developed world class athletes in less than a decade. The gymnasts perform on the Trampoline and the dumbstruck judges score them on the basis of the difficulty level and skills of the gymnast. It’s great to see that a game which we used to play when we were kids at the backyard garden is actually an Olympic Sport.