HISTORICAL EVENTS

Interesting Sports and Disciplines from the History of the Olympic Games

We always enjoy a good story, especially when there sports are involved. People enjoy the legends which are tied to some players, stadiums, games, and even matches. Sports stories are always interesting, which is one of the reasons why we love sports. Quadriannual meetings like the World Cup are interesting, but that is just football. If you want multiple sports, you need something like the Olympic Games. Every four years, you get some amazing events at the Olympics. Here are some of the more memorable ones from the many Games that were held throughout the last century.

Art at the Olympics

Back in the day, specifically between 1912 and 1948, you could have received a medal for art. How does one compete in art, though? The non-existent answer to that question is why we don’t have art as a sport at the Olympics anymore.

Regardless, painting, music, sculpture, architecture and literature were disciplines in which one could compete during the time. It is worth mentioning that the Games of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled due to World War II, so art was a “sport” for a total of 8 Olympic Games.

The Tug of War –  A Game Everyone Played

Everyone knows what tug of war is. A bunch of people pulling a rope, until one group pulls the other over a line. Some people play it so that when one group loses, they fall into mud. This makes the game more interesting. During the 1900 to 1920 period, the tug of war was an Olympic sport and people played it, winning medals. This is one sport which not many people knew was an Olympic one, but a sport which many would enjoy seeing again.

Racewalking – Get a Medal for Walking

This is an interesting sport which not many consider a sport at all. The sport of racewalking has simple rules, you can walk and one of your feet must always be on the ground. This leads to people walking rather strangely, albeit quickly. Ducks and penguins walk in a similar fashion. It is one of those events which lasts a while, 20 kilometers for men and women and another 50 kilometers, for men only. 

Cross-country Debacle – Hot Days are Bad for Races

Cross-country races were held between 1912 and 1924. They ended abruptly after the last race at the 1924 games, where many athletes simply collapsed at various parts of the race. The reason for that was bad logistics. Long races and hot days do not mix well together, as the athletes and race officials found out, or re-learned, on that day. Even though cross-country races sound really interesting, the problem with them was legitimate at the time. Today, it would be a different story, if the IOC would reconsider.

Luge Almost Didn’t Make it

Luge is a very extreme sport where athletes slide down in a tunnel of ice, on a sled, with very little protection, at high speeds. The first time luge was contested at the Winter Olympics was in 1964 and it was received very poorly. This was due to an athlete dying at the pre-tournament practice run. Given the speed and little to no protection for athletes, luge is very dangerous and athletes making mistakes often ends up with them taking quite the physical pounding which can result in their deaths in some very unfortunate circumstances.

The Olympic Games have had some amazing moments, which were sometimes due to the athletes competing and sometimes due to the very sports themselves. Some of the sports mentioned above are still Olympic sports while others, well, it would be fun if they still were. We might see them again at the Olympics, time will tell.