Topend Sports Logo

Olympic Games Sports Changes

Since the first Olympic Games in which nine sports were contested, there have been regular changes in the number and types of sports on the Olympic Games program. There is a core of five sports that have been held at every Olympics, Athletics, Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics and Swimming, while others have come and gone, and sometimes come back again.

Below is a list of the number of sports for each Olympiad and the changes from one to the next. See also our pages about Discontinued Olympic Sports and details of how sports are selected.

Year Host no. of sports change
2028 LA, USA 36? baseball & softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash added, breakdancing removed
2024 Paris, France 32 breakdancing added, karate, baseball & softball removed
2020 Tokyo, Japan 33 baseball and softball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing added
2016 Rio, Brazil 28 Rugby 7s and Golf added
2012 London, England 26 Baseball and Softball dropped.
2008 Beijing, China 28 no change
2004 Athens, Greece 28 no change
2000 Sydney, Australia 28 Taekwondo and Triathlon added
1996 Atlanta, USA 26 Softball added
1992 Barcelona, Spain 25 Badminton and Baseball added
1988 Seoul, South Korea 23 Table Tennis and Tennis added
1984 Los Angeles, USA 21 no change
1980 Moscow, USSR 21 no change
1976 Montreal, Canada 21 no change
1972 Munich, Germany 21 Archery, Handball, and Judo added
1968 Mexico City, Mexico 18 Judo dropped from the program
1964 Tokyo, Japan 19 Judo and Volleyball added
1960 Rome, Italy 17 no change
1956 Melbourne, Australia 17 no change
1952 Helsinki, Finland 17 no change
1948 London, UK 17 polo and handball dropped
1936 Berlin, Germany 19 added basketball, canoeing, handball, football, polo
1932 Los Angeles, USA 14 added shooting. dropped football
1928 Amsterdam, Holland 14 Added field hockey. Dropped shooting, tennis, polo, rugby union
1924 Paris, France 17 Dropped were archery, field hockey and tug-of-war. Figure skating and ice hockey were moved to the Winter Olympics program. No new sports were added.
1920 Antwerp, Belgium 22 No sports were dropped. Added were archery, boxing, field hockey, weight lifting, polo, rugby union, figure skating and ice hockey.
1912 Stockholm, Sweden 14 added were equestrian, modern pentathlon, dropped were archery, boxing, field hockey, lacrosse, jeu de paume, polo, rackets, rugby union, water motorsports, figure skating.
1908 London, Great Britain 22 dropped golf, roque and weightlifting, and added was field hockey, figure skating, sailing, shooting, Jeu de paume, polo, Rackets, Rugby union, water motorsports.
1904 St Louis, USA 16 dropped were Basque pelota, cricket, croquet, equestrian, polo, Rugby union, sailing, shooting. Added were lacrosse, roque, weightlifting, wrestling, boxing (and Diving as part of Aquatics)
1900 Paris, France 19 Weightlifting and wrestling were dropped, and these added: Archery, Basque pelota, Cricket, Croquet, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Polo, Rowing, Rugby union, Sailing, Tug of war (and Water Polo as part of Aquatics)
1896 Athens, Greece 9 The initial sports were: Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics, Cycling (Road & Track), Fencing, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Weightlifting, Greco-Roman Wrestling.

Related Pages

send us a comment Any comments, suggestions, or corrections? Please let us know.

Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. 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.

 → How to Cite