10 Weirdest Olympic Sports Of All Time

By on November 25, 2019

Have you ever watched the Olympics? Then you will know that a lot of the sports seem relatively normal. This wasn’t always the case though, and sometimes there were some sports that were downright strange. You can read all about them, right here.

Swimming Obstacle Race

This did actually make the Olympic cut- once. It was during the 1900 games that were held in Paris. Fred Lane actually ended up taking home the gold medal. He and his competitors actually had to deal with three different obstacles throughout the race. First, the people who were partaking had to climb over a pole. When they did this, they then had to make their way over a number of rowboats. The final obstacle was for them to swim under a row of boats before they finally hit the finish line. If this happened today then there’s a high chance that Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte wouldn’t stand a chance because not only is it obscure, but also somewhat dangerous.

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8-man Tug of War

This one certainly looks fun. Eight team members were on each side and if they wanted to win then one team had to pull their opponent a total of 6 feet. If the time limit had expired however then the team who had pulled the other team the furthest would be named as the victor. The most controversial tug of war game actually happened in 1908. Great Britain took home the gold even though there were tons of protests from the US. People in America claimed that the people who took part in the event actually wore illegal footwear and therefore should have been disqualified. If you are excited to try some Olympic-themed games for yourself, then why not look into the Slots of Vegas casino – Olympics of Fortune game?

Tandem Sprint

This sport made its Olympic debut in the year 1906. It was axed after the games in 1972 and Vladimir Semenets and the famous Igor Tselovalnikov ended up taking home the gold for USSR. The competition actually consists of two men who raced in a team. They would do so on two-seated bicycles. The first one to cross over the finish line after 2,000 metres would win the race.

Club Swinging

Another obscure sport. This made its debut in 1904 and it was very popular during the Summer Games. Club swingers would whirl around clubs that were in the shape of bowling pins. They would have to do this in a routine that is very similar to that of a gymnast. George Roth who was born in the US actually ended up winning the gold medal once and he has quite the backstory. It was during the Great Depression and Roth was hungry and unemployed. Seconds after he came out with his gold medal, he had to then hitchhike home.

Race Walking

Race Walking also made its debut in 1904. It was in the Summer games and it is one of the strangest sports yet. Race walking is very different to running when you look at popular opinion. The main reason for this is because it requires people to maintain contact with the ground. They also need to keep their knee straight when their foot hits the ground. This needs to be the case until the knee actually passes under the body.

Solo Synchronised Swimming

For some reason, this was made into an Olympic sport in the year 1984, 1988 and then again in 1992. When you think of standard synchronised swimming, you may think about how well two swimmers are able to coordinate their movements with one another. It’s hard to see how a swimmer is able to coordinate their moves with other swim mates who don’t actually exist. Solo swimmers happen to be judged on how well they dance or even swim to music. This was scrapped in 1992 and it hasn’t been heard from since. Probably for a very good reason.

Pistol Duelling

This event was made into an Olympic event twice. It was announced in the 1906 games and then again in the year 1912. Rather than having two people fire pistols at each other, they had to shoot at mannequins who had painted targets on their chests. Leon Moreaux who hailed from France managed to come away with gold in the 20 meter competition. A different winner was announced for the 30 metre however.

Rope Climb

The rope climb made its debut in the year 1896. Climbers had to climb a rope that is 14 metres long. They were then judged on their style and the time it took for them to complete it all. A Greek athlete was able to take home the gold but as time went on, the people who took part were judged on their time alone. It didn’t matter how stylish they were because the whole thing became much more competitive.

Plunge for Distance

This event was again, debuted in the 1904 Olympics. This event basically involved a lot of swimmers diving into a pool. They then had to stay motionless in the water for a total of one minute. The divers were not allowed to propel themselves while they were underwater and whoever was able to go the furthest then took home the medal. All five people who took part in this event were from the US.

Live Pigeon Shooting

The goal of this was to try and shoot, and of course, kill as many pigeons as possible. 300 birds were killed during the event but people quickly came to the conclusion that this was not a good way to carry on. Soon after, clay pigeons were used as they were much more affordable, and it made the sport more humane too. People would be able to practice much more as well, in advance of the event.

Of course, it’s amazing to see how far Olympic sports have come over the years and it is also incredible to see how much they have changed too.

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