Past Sports of the Olympics

It is fascinating the large number and variety of sports that have at one time been part of the Olympic Games, either as official or unofficial demonstration sports.

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rope climbing was once at the OlympicsDiscontinued Sports

Since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, as many as twelve sports have disappeared completely from the schedule. These are croquet, cricket, Jeu de Paume, pelota, polo, roque, rackets, tug-of-war, lacrosse, baseball, softball, and motor boating. The Winter Olympics also has a few sports and events that have been discontinued.

The most recent sports to become discontinued are baseball and softball which were dropped from the 2012 Games. This was the first time in 69 years that a sport itself had been removed from the Olympic program, with the previously dropped sport polo removed in 1936.

Discontinued Events

Added to this is a large number of discontinued events from sports that are still on the program, such as the swimming events of plunge for distance and underwater swimming, the track and field events of the standing highjump and tug-of-war, and the shooting events of pigeon shooting and dueling pistol. There are many more, you can have a look at the complete list of all discontinued sports, or my list of some the more unusual sports.

In the past, the host country often included their own sports. Some of the discontinued events were simply updated to metric distances or modified into the well-known events of today, especially in track and field and swimming.

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