Thursday, August 9, 2012

Top 5 Oddest Discontinued Olympic Sports

I still don't get the Olympics, but the stupid mish-mash of random sports and "sports" that make up today's Games has been fine-tuned from an even more random assortment of ridiculous activities designed to aid the world's social and physical development.  Here are the strangest crappy sports to ever be included in the Olympics.

5: Rope Climb (1896, 1904, 1906, 1924, and 1932) - Climb to the top of a rope measuring anywhere from 25 to 50 feet using only your hands.  The first time this was done, only two competitors reached the top, both from Greece.  The last year this was done, nobody cared.

4: Tug-of-War (1900 - 1920) - It was part of the original Olympics 2,500 years ago, so why not include it now?  Two teams of eight squared off on either end of a rope to pull the opposing team 6 feet (or as far as possible in 5 minutes).  To give a sense of how seriously the world took this sport, medalists from various years included the U.S. Milwaukee Athletic Club team, the Great Britain Liverpool Police team, and for the 1912 Bronze Medal, "none."

Athletes--just like Ali or Jordan.
3: Croquet (1900) - What is interesting is that the field consisted of a mixture of men and women.  What is also interesting is that the event drew exactly one spectator.  One.  It would easily double that were it held today. Especially if it included some of these fine competitors.

2: Men's Sailors 100 Meter Freestyle Swim (1896) - Swim 100 meters freestyle--first to the end wins.  The catch: only sailors from the Greek Royal Navy were allowed to compete.  The field consisted of 3 competitors, and the winner of this "fixed" event was nearly a minute slower than the open 100 meter freestyle swim.

Another athlete.  For real.
1: Live Pigeon Shoot (1900) and Dueling Pistol Shoot (1906 and 1912) - In the former event, Olympic "athletes" shot and killed as many real pigeons as possible, only stopping after missing with two shots.  The event was discontinued after everyone realized that cleaning hundreds of dead and injured, bloody birds thrashing about in a field was not worth the excitement of seeing a bunch of guys with rifles shoot these poor animals.  In the latter event, the "athletes" fired pistols over 20 and 30 meter distances at dummies dressed in frock coats with bulls-eyes on their throats, because nothing builds "a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sports" than seeing who is the best at shooting others in the neck.

Not making the cut was Solo Synchronized Swimming, because although the name is ridiculous and contradictory, the oxymoron wasn't enough to pass these others.  Can you think of any others that we missed?  Share in the comments below, and don't forget to visit us on Facebook and like our page!


  1. There's one that should be a sport. Are we talking playground dodgeball around the big circle, or team dodgeball on the basketball court?

  2. #1 was a bit brutal to watch at the time, but the after-event barbecue made it all worthwhile.

  3. Barbecue after dueling pistols? Human meat?

  4. I was referring to the Pigeons, but human sounds good too. Maybe in a white wine sauce?