Past Sports of the Olympics

There are currently 33 sports at the Tokyo Olympic Games, though the number has changed over time. It is surprising the large number and variety of sports and events that have at one time been officially part of the Olympic Games. There are also many sports that have been demonstration sports, and some of these have made it onto the official program.

Discontinued Sports

Since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, as many as ten sports have disappeared completely from the schedule, such as croquet, cricket, jeu de paume, pelota, polo, roque, rackets, tug-of-war, lacrosse, 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 (but are back again for Tokyo 2020). 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.

olympic Games Standing High Jump in 1908Ray Ewry performing a standing highjump
from: The Official Sport of the Olympic Games of 1908

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Discontinued Events

As well as sports themselves being dropped from the Olympics, there are many more events or sporting disciplines that have been removed 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 running deer 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.

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Olympics Extra

The Summer Olympic Games are currently being held in Tokyo, followed by the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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