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Weird, Obscure and Forgotten Olympic Games Sports | Predator Nutrition

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Weird, Obscure and Forgotten Olympic Games Sports | Predator Nutrition

The Weirdest Sports Cut from The Olympics

Billions of us worldwide tune in every four years to watch our favourite memorable Olympic events. Yes, billions: an incredible 4 billion people from 206 countries are expected to watch the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games!

It’s clear we’re all looking forward to our favourite Olympic events. But have you ever wondered about the sports that didn’t make the final cut?

We researched events that have been discontinued from the Olympics alongside search trend data to discover the most unusual Olympic Games sports ever! From the weird to the obscure, to the almost forgotten, read on to learn the Olympic sports that didn’t strike gold.

 


 

Field Handball

Years Included: 1936

Current Monthly Search Interest: 0

Field handball is exactly what it says on the tin: handball in a field. Introduced to the Olympics in 1936 and eliminated ever since, field handball was swiftly replaced by its more popular and well-known counterpart, indoor handball.

However, it does remain popular in certain corners of the globe. Field handball is most loved in São Tomé & Príncipe, Cape Verde and Mozambique.

Water Motorsports

Years Included: 1908

Current Monthly Search Interest: 60

The 1908 Olympics featured not one but three motorboat racing events, for which Team GB won two gold medals (although admittedly the only other participating nation was France.)

Since then, water motorsports have been abolished from the event on the basis that the Olympics is for physical competition, not motorised.

Basque Pelota

Years Included: 1900

Current Monthly Search Interest: 530

Basque pelota is instantly recognisable by its strange racket, which can only be described as looking like a large shoe-horn. During the 1900 Games, Spain won gold in Basque pelota against their only competitor, France.

One of the stranger sports ever included in the Olympics, Basque pelota has declined in popularity over the past 100 years. In the past 15 years alone, interest in Basque pelota has fallen 77%, and it only appeared in the Olympics as an official sport once.

Jeu de Paume

Years Included: 1908

Current Monthly Search Interest: 3,900

Jeu de paume is the precursor to tennis. Superseded in popularity by the modern version, jeu de paume only appeared once at the Olympics, in 1908, when the US beat their only competitor, Team GB, to gold.

Globally, jeu de paume has declined nearly 60% in popularity over the past 15 years alone. However, it remains a sports staple in French-speaking countries, primarily France, Réunion, Tunisia, Luxembourg and Belgium.

Vaulting

Years Included: 1920

Current Monthly Search Interest: 5,900

For those who love gymnastics at the Olympics, vaulting takes this to the next level. Described as gymnastics and dancing on horseback, vaulting only appeared once at the Olympics, in 1920, when Belgium won gold and bronze against France (silver) and Sweden (runners up).

Vaulting’s popularity has halved over the last 15 years. Its biggest following is in Germany, Venezuela and Austria.

The Weirdest Sports Cut from The Olympic Games

While the above are our top five weird and obscure sports eliminated from the Olympic Games, this list isn’t exhaustive! Here’s the full list of sports that haven’t quite made the cut:

Sport

Years Included

Total Olympic Games

Current Popularity (SEMRush Monthly Searches)

Medal Highlights

Handball / Field Handball

1936

1

0

Germany won gold.

Water motorsports

1908

1

60

The UK won gold in 2 events, France in 1 event.

Basque pelota

1900

1

530

Spain won gold against their only competitor, France.

Jeu de paume

1908

1

3900

US beat their only competitor, Team GB, to gold.

Equestrian / Vaulting

1920

1

5900

Belgium won gold and bronze, France won silver.

Tug of war

1900, 1904,  1908,1912,1920

5

22400

Great Britain won gold twice, once in 1908 and once in 1920.

Roque

1904

1

39300

The USA won all three medals, which was not surprising as all the competitors were American.

Croquet

1900

1

68100

All medals were won by France.

Rackets/racquets

1908

1

120700

All medals won by Team GB.

Lacrosse

1904,1908

2

254800

Canada won gold against Great Britain and the US.

Rugby / Rugby Union

  1900,1908,

1920,1924

4

289100

Team GB have won 2 silver medals, but never gold.

Cricket

1900

1

8200000

Great Britain won gold against France.

Figure skating and ice hockey have also been cut from the summer Olympics, but only so they could be rescheduled to the winter games.

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