7 sports we bet you didn’t know were in the Olympics

7 sports we bet you didn’t know were in the Olympics

Perhaps they were ahead of their time. Maybe some were just plain ridiculous. But these noble sports were once used to contest the greatest of athletes around the world (especially number four). Marvel in their intricacy as you scratch your head wondering why they existed in the first place.

1. Tug-of-war

Scarcely beating out Red-Rover, Tug-of-war was an event at the summer Olympics between 1900 and 1920. Countries could enter multiple teams as well to earn multiple medals in the same category, which is how the United States won all three in 1908.

2. Live pigeon shooting

No surprise that this event was debuted and canceled following the 1900 summer games. Somewhat of a side-event of the usual shooting categories, competitors basically had to shoot down as many pigeons as possible without missing more than once. As you may have guessed, animal rights put a stop to this one almost immediately.

3. Rope climbing

The title says it all. Driven by memories of gym class, these competitors climbed a suspended vertical rope using nothing but their strong, callused hands. Despite its popularity, it was removed from the Olympics in 1932. The sport is especially big in the Czech Republic where they still hold national competitions today.

4. Solo synchronized swimming

Somehow, this one only lasted between 1984 and 1992. Kind of an oxymoron by name, solo synchronized swimming was basically a choreographed singles dance in the water and yet it was discontinued (shocking). However, the category still exists in the European Synchronized Swimming Championships every year.

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