Demonstration Sports at the Summer Olympic Games

This is a list of unofficial or demonstration sports from past Olympic Games, sorted by year (there is also another list with these sports sorted by alphabetical order). Not all of these events have been confirmed as there is often conflicting information about which events were officially sanctioned by the Olympic Committee, and which were simply held at the same time as the Olympic Games.

I have listed all that I have found from a range of different sources, some of them are "unofficial" unoffical sports at the Olympics, particularly before 1912, and any more information is welcome. If you have details of a demonstration sport that is not on this list, or have any other feedback, please comment below.

year sport notes
1896 Football there is evidence of a football game played at the 1896 Olympics, but it is not officially reported.
  Cricket cricket may also have been played on the same day as the football game
  more possibly equestrian and boxing
1900 Angling held on the River Seine, with about 600 fisherman
  Ballooning There were prizes in distance, duration, elevation, and target with and without stopping
  Boules Two versions were played, Jeu Lyonnais and Partie de Berges
  Cannon Shooting It is not clear what the competition involved, maybe shooting for distance and accuracy
  Fire Fighting Competitions were held for both professional and volunteer firefighters.
  Kite Flying competitons for small, medium and large kites
  Pigeon Racing In total, 7,721 pigeons were released from 48 teams
  Pigeon Shooting The object of this event was to shoot and kill as many birds as possible
  Longue Paume the outdoor version of jeu de paume
  Lifesaving rescue event in the River Seine
  Motor Racing Sixteen events were contested in conjunction with the 1900 World's Fair
  Motorcycling there were two motorcycling demonstration 1-mile races as part of the cycling program
  Water Motorsports motorboating was also an official sport at the 1908 Olympic Games
1904 American football A college football tournament. There was also a demonstration game played in 1932
  Basketball Basketball was also demonstrated in 1924, and has been an official sport from 1936 onwards
  Gaelic football Gaelic Football was also set to become a demonstration sport at the 1900 Olympic Games
  Hurling It was described as a "lacrosse-type" event
  Baseball an amateur baseball tournament was scheduled, but no records of it have been found
1906 Water Polo an exhibition match was played between two Swedish teams
  Aquatics a nautical exhibition by a swedish team diving, figure swimming, underwater swimming, life-saving
  Gymnastics demonstration of Danish and Swedish gymnastics at the opening ceremony
1908 Bicycle Polo Bicycle Polo is similar to traditional polo, except that bicycles are used instead of horses
1912 Glima Wrestling traditional Scandinavian wrestling
  Baseball One of many demonstrations of baseball before it became an official sport in 1992.
  Gotland Games demonstration of traditional sports of Gotland, plus more demos
1920 Korfball also a demonstration in 1928
1924 Basque Pelota A men only tournament. It was also played as a demonstration sport in 1968 (men only) and 1992 (men and women).
  Canadian Canoeing The canoeing program was incorporated into the Olympic rowing regatta
  La Canne French form of martial arts using a cane
  Savate a form of French kickboxing.
  Real Tennis Reral Tennis is the what 'jeu de paume' is called in the UK
  Children's Games The sports included baseball, basketball, volleyball and other playground games
1928 Korfball also a demonstration in 1920
  Lacrosse Games played between teams from Canada, Great Britain, and the USA
  Kaatsen Also called Frisian Handball, a form of handball commonly played in Holland
1932 American Football Only one demonstration game was played, between seniors from three Western universities (Cal, Stanford, and USC) versus those from the East Coast's "Big Three" (Harvard, Yale, and Princeton).
  Lacrosse Games played between teams from Canada and the USA
1936 Gliding No competition was held, just a demonstration of the sport by 14 pilots from seven countries
  Baseball One of many demonstrations of baseball before it became an official sport in 1992.
  Kabaddi? followers of Kabaddi are definite that it was part of that Olympic Program, but it does not make all lists of demonstration sports
  Tenpin Bowling an international tournament was held in Berlin around the same time as the Olympics
  Golf an international tournament was held in Berlin around the same time as the Olympics
1948 Lacrosse Just one game was played between Great Britain and the United States
  Swedish (Ling) gymnastics A demonstration by 200 female and 200 male gymnasts
1952 Pesäpallo a Finnish version of baseball was played
  Field Handball An exhibition match was played between teams from Denmark and Sweden
  Synchronized Swimming There are many other references to an exhibition a team from USA and Canada, but no mention in the official report.
1956 Australian Rules Football A game was played between a side representing the VAFA, and a side from the combined VFL and VFA.
  Baseball One of many demonstrations of baseball before it became an official sport in 1992.
  Synchronized Swimming Olympic gala demonstrations of synchronized swimming, including swimmers from the Athens Club of Oakland, California.
1960 Synchronized Swimming gala demonstrations
1964 Baseball One of many demonstrations of baseball before it became an official sport in 1992.
  Synchronized Swimming Olympic gala demonstrations, with swimmers from the teams St. Louis Shaw Park, Lansing Sea Sprites, and New York Community College
  Budō Japanese Archery, Fencing & Wrestling
1968 Basque Pelota A men only tournament. It also played as demonstration sport in the 1924 (men only), and 1992 (men and women)
  Synchronized Swimming details unknown
  Baseball One of many demonstrations of baseball before it became an official sport in 1992.
  Tennis both a demonstration and exhibition tournament were played
1972 Badminton was also a demonstration sport in 1988
  Water Skiing winners: Figures - Ricky McCormick USA 5340 & Willy Stähle NED 3140, Jump - Ricky McCormick USA 43.75 & Sylvie Maurial FRA 27.40, Slalom - Roby Zucchi ITA 44.0 & Liz Allen-Shetter USA 35.0
1976 none  
1980 Sambo youth Sambo was only demonstrated in the Games' opening ceremony - it was not formally recognized as a demonstration sport.
1984 Baseball One of many demonstrations of baseball before it became an official sport in 1992.
  Tennis the first time professional athletes were officially allowed to compete in any Olympic sport. Became an official sport in 1988.
  Wheelchair racing demonstration of a paralympic event
1988 Baseball One of many demonstrations of baseball before it became an official sport in 1992.
  Judo Judo demonstration for women only before they were officially on the program in 1992.
  Taekwondo there was a mass demonstration of taekwondo at the opening ceremony, and a competition was also held
  Wheelchair racing 800m race (women) and a 1500m (men), as an exhibition sport showcasing the Paralympics event.
  Badminton became an official sport in 1992
  Tenpin Bowling 20 nations competed in the tenpin bowling exhibition
1992 Basque Pelota A competition for men and women. It was also played as demonstration sport in the 1924 (men only), and 1968 (men only).
  Beach Volleyball?  
  Roller Hockey (Rink-hockey) A competition was held for men with 12 nations represented.
  Valencian pilota?  
  Taekwondo a total of 64 men and 64 women competed in eight different weight classes
  Wheelchair racing 800m race (women) and a 1500m (men), as an exhibition sport showcasing the Paralympics event.
1996 Wheelchair racing 800m race (women) and a 1500m (men), as an exhibition sport showcasing the Paralympics event.
2000 Wheelchair racing 800m race (women) and a 1500m (men), as an exhibition sport showcasing the Paralympics event.
2004 Wheelchair racing 800m race (women) and a 1500m (men), as an exhibition sport showcasing the Paralympics event.
  Reining? I have received unconfirmed reports that reining was an exhibition sport at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and maybe even in Sydney 2000 and Atlanta 1996
2008 wushu The IOC allowed a special tournament of wushu to be played at the same time as the Beijing Games
2012 none  
2016 eSports The IOC permitted a parallel eSports competition to be run, though it was not an official demonstration sport.

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