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Sports Then and Now




Six of the Most Frequently Forgotten Sports of the Summer Olympics

Posted on April 20, 2016 by Brooke Chaplan

Olympic SailingThe Summer Olympics are always an exciting set of games played by the most elite athletes from all over the world. People from every corner of the globe travel or tune in to see the best compete for the gold. Fan favorites include gymnastics, swimming, and track and field events. However, there are a number of other events that don’t get the attention and support they might deserve. Here are a few of the lesser known, but just as exciting sports to check out in the upcoming year.

Canoe (Slalom/Sprint)
Canoeing entered the Olympic games in the 1936 Berlin games. Before it was often featured as a demonstration event. Athletes compete in canoes carrying one or two passengers. The event is typically 500 meters or 1000 meters. The length has changed over the years, with much longer races occurring in the past. The most recent change is the addition of a 200 meter event in 2009.

Handball
The Summer Olympic Games in Berlin also featured the debut of handball as an event. It was later dropped, then returned in 1972, again in Berlin. Women’s handball was added in 1976.

Water Motorsports
In 1900, water motorsports was featured as a demonstration sport of motorboats. The event was held only once as an actual event in 1908 and featured three races. The course was 40 miles and was hindered by gale force winds and wasn’t competed again. Most motor powered sports haven’t been introduced in the official Olympics, but fans of motocross, snowmobiling, and other sports can enjoy smaller events and competitions that feature worldwide athletes. Places like Bob’s Cycle & Snowmobile Supply stores and other sellers make this sport possible and affordable for more athletes all over.

Sailing
Although a less popular event than swimming, sailing can be an interesting water sport for its biggest fans. Formerly known as yachting, this event can be tricky to maneuver due to harsh weather conditions. It has been around since the Games of the Olympiad held in Greece in 1896 and has been present at every contest minus 1904.

Badminton
The debut of badminton occurred at the 1972 Munich games where it was featured as a demonstration sport. In the Barcelona 1992 games there were four events for men and women. Both doubles and singles participated. In 1996, mixed doubles were added.

Water Polo
Although it may be less popular, water polo has been a long running part of the summer games. It has been an event since 1900 at the second modern games. This was a male dominated event until the women’s tournament was added in 2000.

The Summer Olympics is an ever-changing contest that follows through with its ancient promise to entertain. Some events become more popular than others with some even disappearing for a time. The spectators truly do appreciate an exciting contest and will continue to follow their favorite, new and old, for as long as the tradition continues.


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