Olympic Sports in History's Dustbin

Olympics much bigger now, but many sports dropped over years
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2012 3:10 AM CDT
Tug of war lasted for five Olympic Games, the last being 1920. This photo is from the 1904 Games.   (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1904_tug_of_war.jpg)

(Newser) – Not a fan of synchronized swimming in the Olympics? Dressage? Rhythmic gymnastics? Sure, the number of sports in the Olympics Games has grown dramatically since they were restarted in 1896, going from nine sports and 43 events to 26 sports and 302 events. But plenty of odd sports have been dropped along with way, notes the Economist. Among the sports that put in just one Olympic appearance:

  • Singlesticks: Like fencing, but with 3-foot-long wooden sticks.

  • Motor boats: Yes, really.
  • Pigeon shooting: Killing actual birds, not just targets.
  • Jeu de Paume: A tennis antecedent.
  • Plunge for distance: An aquatic long jump.
  • Rope climbing: Actually made four appearances before getting the axe after 1932.
  • Tug of war: Actually lasted for five Olympics, but got yanked in 1920.
(Read more Olympic Games stories.)

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