Weird Olympic Sports That Were Actually Played
Some of these games are admittedly not that strange, I mean, what's weird about high jumping while riding a horse? Furthermore, there's no way that animal rights activists would allow Live Pigeon Shooting nowadays.
- Live Pigeon Shooting. 300 birds were killed when this game debut at the Paris Games in 1900, all future games used clay targets. Leon de Lunden of Belgium took the gold with 21 birds shot.
- Swimming Obstacle Course. Another one and done game of the 1900 Paris Olympics, swimmers had to get across a 200-meter course on the River Seine. Australia’s Fred Lane took the gold after crossing a pole and a row of boats and then swimming under another row.
- Tug of War. This game was in five modern Olympic games from Paris in 1900 to Antwerp in 1920. Teams of eight had to pull their opponents six feet over the line within five minutes. If there was not a winner after time, the teamed who pulled furthest would win.
- Long Jump and High Jump for Horse. Paris in 1900 was host to many one-time-only games. Belgium’s Constant van Langendonck with Extra Dry took gold with a 6.10-meter-long jump. Two competitors won gold with a 1.85-meter-high jump, France’s Dominique Garderes on Canela and Italy’s Gian Giorgio Trissino with Oreste.
- Plunge for Distance. The Plunge only happened once at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis. William Dickey of Team USA holds the record at 62.5 feet.
- Croquet. Again, another one timer from the 1900 Paris games. It was the first Olympic event that women took part of and they competed against men as well. France took home the gold in all four categories. The sport was cancelled when only one spectator showed up.
- Rope Climbing. Probably the worst thing you ever had to do in gym class was an Olympic event from 1896 to 1932. Nikolaus Andriakopoulos of Greece won the inaugural event and was one of just two people to reach the top.
- Tandem Bicycle Sprint. Two two-men teams would race for 2,000 meters on bicycles built for two from 1908 to 1972. The sport is still featured in the Paralympics.
- Standing High Jump. Similar to the high jump that everyone is used to, this event had competitors jumping from a standing position. It was a staple from 1900 to 1912.
- Underwater Swimming. One last one that only existed in the 1900 Paris games. Athletes would swim submerged for at least 60 meters, they would gain two points for each meter covered and another point for every second underwater. Charles DeVandeville won gold for France with 188.4 points.
Read more at Huffington Post.