Olympic Games, which dates back almost 3000 years, has become the pinnacle of sport across the world.
From the ancient Games held in Olympia to the introduction of the modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, there has been a wide range of weird, wacky and wild sports that made up the event.
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Over the years, many unusual sports have fallen into the archives.
From ancient wrestling to more modern events, here are some of the unusual sports that many people didn’t know that made up the Olympics.
Ancient olympic games
The chariot races were considered one of the events that helped found the Olympic Games in Greece.
This sport was one of the most popular and long-lasting events in the equestrian program of the Ancient Games.
Chariot races immediately gained popularity and larger colosseums were designed to accommodate the races.
The races were held in arenas called the Hippodrome.
The race often extended from 3.5 km to 14 km and varied in number of tanks.
Tank racing was a high octane sport, which often resulted in massive collisions and fatal injuries.
All the glory went to the winning owner, which meant that the Hippodrome was seen as a symbol of wealth and power.
A combination of boxing and wrestling with very few restrictions, Pankration was a brutal display of masculinity in ancient times.
The only rule was “no bite or gouging” while the fighters wore no bandages in the bloody skill display.
The sport has become extremely popular and has become a part of ancient folklore due to gladiatorial battles.
Modern olympic games
One of the most unlikely sports to have participated in an Olympic event is croquet.
At the start of the Modern Games, many sporting events were chosen by the host country.
In 1900, the Olympic Games were held in Paris and croquet made its exciting introduction.
France won all the medals, but the 10 players entered were French.
Three women participated in the event, which was the first time since the Ancient Games.
However, the sport was not popular with spectators and only one Englishman traveled from Nice to watch.
The sport made an appearance in 1904 under the American name of Roque, but did not participate in other Olympics.
Tug of war
During the second modern Olympic Games in 1900, tug of war reappeared.
Part of the ancient Games, tug of war was a sport of the Olympic Games until 1920.
The sport consisted of two teams of eight and the goal was to pull your opponents over a line – normally six feet away – with a rope.
Although no longer an Olympic sport, the activity remains popular around the world.
Also known as “power boating,” this unusual Olympic sport consisted of three motorboat racing events.
The motorboat was staged in the United Kingdom during the 1908 Olympics on the waters of Southampton.
But the event did not go as planned.
Two boats competing on the first day abandoned the race halfway through the first lap, while the only remaining competitor did not finish due to bad weather.
On the second day, a boat ran aground and the only remaining competitor crossed the line unopposed and won gold.
The event did not return to the Games.
Live pigeon shooting
Another very unusual sport for today’s standards is pigeon shooting.
As various shooting events take place today in 1900, the goal was for competitors to shoot down as many live pigeons as possible.
The sport has been described as “very aristocratic”, which means “very aristocratic”.
The sport did not take off after nearly 300 birds were killed for the event and the field was reportedly strewn with blood and feathers.
Leon de Lunden from Belgium won the event after killing 21 of 300 birds, but the Olympics don’t officially count that as a medal.
This is the only time an animal has been intentionally killed during the Games.
The sport of climbing a vertical rope was a popular gymnastics event in 1896, 1904, 1906, 1924, and 1932.
Rope climbing was an elite display of upper body strength.
One of the greatest sports in the world, many are unaware that cricket made its debut in 1900.
The only game ever played at the Olympics, England beat the French (who were a team made up mostly of English) comfortably after scoring 117 and 145 for 5, while beating their opponents for 78 and 26.
The lack of nations playing cricket at the time, as well as the predominance of the English team, meant it had not gained the upper hand for future Games.
Cricket has obviously since become one of the greatest sports in the world.
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