Sports of the Olympic Games

At the first Olympic Games in 1896, there were nine sports contested. Since that time many sports have been added (and removed too) from the program. Only five sports have been contested at every summer Olympic Games since 1896: Athletics, Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics and Swimming.

In 2012 there were 26 sports contested, and in 2016 there was 28, and 33 in 2020. See also the pages about the number of sports at each Olympiad, and also the changes over time. In addition to the official sports on the program, there are other recognized sports that are set for possible inclusion in the future.

2020 Summer Olympic Sports

(follow the links for more info about each sport)

Recently Added Sports

Recently Removed Sports

Possible New Sports

As well as those listed below, there are many other possible new sports for future Games.

Previous Olympic Sports

(these are just some of the sports that have once been part of the Olympic program. More can be found on Discontinued Olympic Sports)

Ancient Olympics

These were the events at the ancient Olympic Games. There is more information on the Ancient Events page.

  • Boxing
  • Equestrian events: Chariot racing, Riding
  • Pankration
  • Pentathlon: Discus, Javelin, Jump, Running, Wrestling
  • Running
  • Wrestling


Related Pages

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

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.

How to Cite