Games You Won’t Believe Actually Used To Exist in Olympics

Baseball and softball are the only sports that have been dropped from the Olympics since 1936, having been voted out by the IOC Session in Singapore on July 11, 2005, a decision that was reaffirmed on February 9, 2006, and reversed on August 3, 2016. However, many Olympic games had previously been barred in 1936.

1. Polo

Polo - Wikipedia

No, not the water game Marco Polo, but hey, maybe that’ll be the next big thing. The “prestige” sport, which basically involves hitting a ball with a mallet while on horseback, sizzled in the early 1900s, appearing just five times (in 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924, and 1936).

2. Ballooning

Europe by air: Hot air balloon excursions | Stripes Europe

Piloting gas balloons at the 1900 Games, the winning team traveled about 768 miles in almost 36 hours!

3. Cannon Shooting

30,000+ Cannon Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

Olympics got a little too wild in 1900. Cannon shooting had a total of 17 different events.

4. Tug of War

Premium Photo | Closeup of hand pulling the rope in tug of war game

From 1900–20, nations would stand across from one another and pull a rope to prove who was stronger.

5. Rackets

10 most popular and played racket sports in the world

The photo above does not do it justice, but it was basically an old-school version of the game squash. Two opponents hit a ball against the wall with their rackets and outplay each other. The game made a brief appearance in 1908 but vanished.

6. Lacrosse

Boys Lacrosse - CT Insider

The front half of the 1900s featured lacrosse, a sport shockingly no longer a part of the Games. It is still pretty popular in the States, and unsurprisingly, Canada currently holds the most gold.

7. Motor Boating

90+ Free Motor Boat Race & Jet Ski Images - Pixabay

Water sports were a big showcase in the 1908 Games, but unfortunately motor boating wasn’t a thrilling enough competition for the masses.

8. Kite Flying

Go Fly a Kite - 6 Grays Harbor Beaches Perfect for Your Kite Flying Adventures - GraysHarborTalk

Like many events at the 1900 Summer Olympics, kite flying was never determined to be an official sport. I imagine style points and height mattered.

9. Art Competitions

10 of the Best Art Contests to Enter in 2022 & Further Your Creative Career

When it was a thing in the early 1900s, there were five categories: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture.

10. Firefighting

Fire Fighting at the 1900 Olympics

Firefighting events were held for both professional and volunteer firefighters. While Olympic firefighting lasted only one Olympics, there is still a World Firefighters Games to this day.

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