Weird Sports from Past Olympics

Weird Olympics Are Coming!

Olympic DuelingPast Olympics have included some truly bizarre sports, including pistol dueling in 1912.  No kidding!

You might be wondering if the Silver and Bronze medals in that sport were awarded posthumously. Actually contestants shot at mannequins in frock coats with a target on the mannequin’s throat.  So losing competitors were allowed to live through the event.

The Olympics have included some pretty unexpected events over the years, some as official competitions and some as demonstration events.  See how you do at separating truth from fiction in the following quiz.

1) Which one of these sports was not part of a Winter Olympics?

Figure Skating man

a) Synchronized Ice Skating

b)   A competition blending cross-country skiing, shooting, downhill skiing, fencing, and horseback riding.

c)       Ice Volleyball (volleyball on ice skates)

d)      Dog Sled Racingdog sled

2)      True or False: Pole dancing is about to become an Olympic sport, possibly under the name of “Pole Fitness.”

3)      Which one of these sports was not part of a Olympics?

a)      Club Swinging

b)      Croquet

c)       Hot Air BallooningHot air Balloons

d)      Solo Synchronized Swimming

e)      All of them have been represented at one or more Olympic events.

4)      True or False: The Olympics in 1900 in Paris included an Underwater Swimming event..

5)      Which one of these sports was NOT part of a Olympics?

a)      Ice Fishing

b)      Tug Of War

c)       Rope Climbing Rope Climbing

d)      Sled Dog Racing

6)      True or False: The Paris Olympics of 1900 included a poodle grooming event.

7)      The Olympics of 1900 included all but one of these sports.  Which one was it?

a)      Firefighting

b)      Delivery Van Driving

      Juggling c)Juggling

d)      Tandem Cycling

8)      True or False: The Calgary Olympics in 1988, included a demonstration event called Men’s Ski Ballet.


1.       Volley ball on ice skatesice skating cartoon has not ever been part of any Olympic competition or demonstration sport to my knowledge.  I made it up.  The video of synchronized ice skating is definitely worth a look.

2.       False, although there are groups petitioning the International Olympic Committee to include it.  Watch a video of pole dancing performed as a sport.

3.       All of these have been part of an Olympic event.

4.       True.  …    Underwater Swimming

5.   Fishing, with or without ice, has not been an Olympic sport to date.  Strangely, competitors at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi do seem to be explicitly forbidden to fish in toilets.    Toilet Fishing Banned

6.   Poodle grooming,  during the 2008 Olympics in China,  a reporter did mistakenly report that a poodle grooming event was part of 1900 Olympic.  Unfortunately, he had been taken in by an April Fools joke that was printed in 1900.  Poodle Clipping


7.   Juggling has not been part of any Olympic event to date. Club Swinging has occasionally been mistaken for juggling and it was part of two Olympics.  Contrary to what you might think, club swinging is not an event for cave men.. A club looks like a bowling pin and is swung about the body in a choreographed routine.  Unlike juggling the pin is never released from the hand .    Defunct Events

.    True.  You have to see Men’s Ski Ballet to believe it.  It looks astoundingly difficult.  And yet it also looks …  well to my untrained eye …  a little doofy.  Hippo Ballet Dancer


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