The Olympics are in full swing and with the current excitement going on with the amazing achievements of #TeamSA I really am feeling the “gees”.
When it comes to sports it normally isn’t the most entertaining thing in the word for us girls to watch but when the Olympics come round things seem to change. There are always the amazingly good looking Gymnasts and swimmers, then there are those sports we don’t usually get to see such as rhythmic gymnastics, synchronised diving and even archery.
But honestly throughout the ages there have been even stranger sports included in the games. I found a brilliant list of events that have since unfortunately been removed from the games.
Tug-of-war. This is a game of strength, which consists of two teams pulling a rope in opposite directions until the mid-point of the rope passes into the territory of one of the teams. Most people associate this sport with school sports days or funfairs. But it was an Olympic event from 1900 to 1920.
Live pigeon shooting. This was only part of the Games in the year 1900, after which it was replaced by clay pigeon shooting. Live pigeons were released in front of participants: two misses and you were out. The winner was the person who shot the most birds.
Plunging. This was held only once in 1904. This involved the rather pointless exercise of diving into a pool of water and remaining completely motionless until a minute was over, or your head popped out of the water. The person who was the furthest from the edge of the pool from where they had dived in was the winner.
Standing triple jump. If you think of the jumping events today, it involves a lot of high-speed running. But from 1900 to 1920, triple jump, long jump and high jump were also contested from a standing position.
Solo synchronised swimming. This doesn’t sound right – usually synchronised swimming is done in teams, right? But no, this has been an event at the Olympics in 1984, 1988 and 1992 Games. A woman gets into a pool and tries to synchronise her swimming with the music being played.
Swimming obstacle race. In Paris in 1900 this event was held in the River Seine. Competitors swam about 200 metres, but in between had to climb a pole sticking out of the water, swim to some boats and climb over them, swim to some more boats and swim under them.
Gliding. In 1936 at the Berlin Olympic Games, gliding was included as an Olympic sport. But that was the one and only time. Many think it was included to show off the fast-flying German planes. Even though gliding was listed as an official sport in 1940, the Games were cancelled because of WWII, and after the war, people had lost their enthusiasm for sports involving fast-flying planes after experiencing firsthand what they could do.
Kabaddi. This was also included only once. It is a sort of team-wrestling sport in which the object is for one member of a team to enter the other side’s half of the field, and score points by tagging or wrestling the opponents. The attacker must then return to his side of the field, but has to hold his breath the whole time. Quite pointless it seems, but apparently popular in South East Asia.
Poodle clipping. This is no joke. It was part of the Olympics in Paris in 1900, although it was just a trial event. 128 people competed in a Parisian Park in front of a crowd of 6000 to see who could clip the fur off the most poodles in a two-hour period. It isn’t difficult to see why this didn’t catch on.
Hot air ballooning. Again part of the Olympics in 1900 in Paris. Several hot air ballooning events were held and the French won them all. They tested distance, duration, and elevation and targeted stopping.
I’m actually kind of disappointed that they took these out… I recall tug of war being one of the coolest games in primary school and I would love the opportunity to have a gold medal in Poodle Clipping…All I’d need to practice is a Poodle… anyone have a spare one I can use?