10 Weird Olympic Events You Won’t See At Rio This Year

The Summer Olympics are upon us again and the world has worked itself into a frenzy. The best of the best have swarmed Rio in the hopes of taking home the coveted gold metal and bringing honor and glory to their home country. To observers, the Olympics serve as a fun way to end the summer and maybe see a little athletic greatness along the way. To the athletes, it’s the culmination of a lifetime of training.

Over the years the Olympics have undergone a lot of change and growth. Some events have been added, some have disappeared. Since the games have been going on for so long some of the old events (that were quite popular at the time) have been all but forgotten. You may be surprised to discover what kinds of events were showcased 50-100 years ago. Like for example did you know about:

1: Rope Climb 1896, 1904, 1906, 1924, 1932)

This one is pretty much what you’d expect. Competitors were ranked by both time and style. No, I have no idea how you judge style for climbing a rope so don’t ask.

2: Tug-of-War (1900, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1912, 1920)

This schoolyard game was present for a few years and was usually done in a best of 3 format.

3: Cycling 12-Hour Race (1896)

This event was kind of a nonstarter. 7 athletes originally planned on competing but 5 dropped out before the end of the race.

4: Indian Club (1932)

indian club.jpg
This gymnastic event centered around the use of a small wooden club. Trust me, it was all the rage among exercise clubs in the late Victorian Period.

5: Obstacle Race (1900)

This exciting, and dangerous, event had competitors swimming under and climbing over rows of boats. I’d love to see this one return.

6: Dueling Pistol (1906)

In an attempt to safely mimic dueling, this event had shooters hold the gun to their side until the count of 3 at which point they would fire on human silhouettes with targets.

7: Equestrian Long Jump (1900)

Not much is known about this event except that winning jump was 20 feet (which was considered very unimpressive at the time).

8: Motor Boating (1908)

This was the first and only time in the history of the Olympics that motor sports were featured.

9: Plunge for Distance (1904)

In this event competitors jumped in the water…and floated without propelling themselves. Who ever got the furthest won. All competitors in 1904 were Americans.

10: Stone Throw (~6kg) (1906)

As you might imagine this event was pretty similar to the shot put except that it had no regulations on throwing form.

The Olympics have certainly become tamer over the years. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of these events make a return. Well, except motor boating. That one’s pretty lame.


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