Olympic Sports of the Past

The Olympic Games were not always the same as we know them today. During the long history of this popular sporting event different types of sport came and passed as due to various reasons they were claimed to be inappropriate. However, may be the changes in the world of sports are to the best as nowadays we do not have to observe the killing of birds or horses competing in a long jump. So, we can only learn more about the past of the Olympic Games and wonder who the author of this or that weird idea was.

In 1900 you could become a witness of cruel treatment of birds during the Olympic Games in France. The competition was called “Live Pigeon Shooting” and provided a simple task of shooting as many pigeons as possible. It was allowed to make no more than two misses. The winner performed 21 hits; the other sportsmen shot quite a number of birds as well. So, in the end of this competition the field was covered with feathers and wounded birds which did not add much joy to the event. No wonder, that the next time the pigeons were not involved in the Olympic Games.

The topic of animal involvement can be continued by describing another type of sports event – “Long Jump for Horses”. Fortunately for all fans of horses and horses themselves these animals were not injured during the competition. They had to perform a long jump with a rider on their back. However, the distances they managed to cover were not long enough, though the event did not appear to be spectacular. Besides, the participation of sportsmen was limited to minimum so it seemed that it were horses which represented the country. So, “Long Jump for Horses” was performed only once, on the Olympic Games 1900 again.

Another sports event which seems to present no particular sense was performed in 1984, 1988 and 1992 and was called, strange as it may sound, “Solo Synchronized Swimming”. In this competition the country was represented by a single participant who danced in the water alone. The sportsman was required to synchronize his or her movements with the music but as there were no universal standards of how to do it this weird kind of sports was removed from the Olympic list.

It seems that 1900 was the richest year with odd Olympic competitions. “Swimming Obstacle Race”, for instance, was also among them. This sports presented swimming with additional necessity to overcome obstacles such as rows of boats, and fighting the current of Seine as well. It is strange, however, that this sports event has not become a good Olympic tradition as it was definitely interesting to watch and challenging to participate in it. Still, Frederic Lane from Australia remains the only world’s champion in this kind of sports.

Among the other kinds of sport we can not enjoy on the Olympic Games nowadays are rope climb, water motor sports, roque (a kind of croquet), pistol dueling and standing high jump.

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