Weird Olympic Sports

Weird Olympic Sports

1 . Pulling your leg

Tug-of-war was one of the events at the 1908 London Olympics. Here, members of the U.S. team test their strength at the stadium in White City.

2 . Hockey rolled

Roller hockey, unlike its ice cousin, failed to capture the imagination. It appeared at just one Olympics Barcelona in 1992.

3 . Shooting the breeze

Live pigeon shooting only appeared once at the 1900 Olympics in Paris. Nearly 300 birds were slain in the bloody spectacle. Today, clay targets are standard.

4 . Against all obstacles

At the same 1900 Olympics, obstacle course swimmers had to negotiate boats and poles. Today the River Seine is more likely to accomodate triathletes in the citys annual competition.

5 . Fencing s foundations

Before there was fencing, there was the French martial art La Canne. The sport first appeared at the 1924 Paris Olympics and much like the name suggests, involved wooden canes.

6 . Roped in

Rope climbing was dropped from the Olympics in 1932. But that hasnt stopped professional climbers still keeping the sport alive. Here, climber Marcus Bottay scales a five-meter rope bare-handed in Sydney, Australia.

7 . Swinging times

Club swinging first appeared at the 1904 St. Louis Olympics and involved athletes twirling clubs. Historians believe it was the precursor to rhythmic gymnastic events that use ribbons and hoops.

8 . Jumping for joy

When it comes to trampolining, precise technique and perfect body control are vital for success, with judges delivering marks for difficulty, execution and time of flight, minus penalties, Olympic officials say.

9 . Walk this way

Race walkers must have one foot on the ground at all times or risk disqualification. The result? A distinctive sashay.

10 . Skeleton

If the previous entries have left you longing for bizarre times past (or future, if pole dancing is thrown in the mix), fear not: The modern Olympic Games still feature plenty of strange sports. First up: skeleton. Granted, many of the ice track sports seem a little bizarre and more than a little dangerous. But there is something uniquely perilous-seeming about the sport known as skeleton. (Even the name makes it sound ominous. Luge, by comparison, sounds like it could double as a warm tasty beverage.)

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