With Rio in full swing and the Olympic fever in the air a blog on unusual sports that are included in the games were in dire need!

Rope Climb

A former Olympic favourite featuring in five games between 1896 and 1932.The competitors had to climb a rope or 49 feet in the 1896 games and then of 25 feet in later games. The most famous gold medallist was an American George Eyser who won the event in 1904. Before the event George was a rank outsider as unlike the other competitors in the competition, George has a wooden leg.

Live pigeon shooting

In Paris 1900 clay pigeon shooting was not so popular. In a much less animal friendly time, live pigeon shooting was the order of the day. Birds were released one at a time from ‘traps’ in front of the shooters; winners were determined by whoever shot the most birds out of the sky. Over the period of the games nearly 400 birds were killed.

Roller hockey

Massively popular in Spain, roller hockey was one of three demonstration sports included in the official Olympic programme of the 1992 Summer Olympics, held in Barcelona. However, Argentina upset the partisan local crowd by beating the hosts in the final and taking the gold.

Underwater swimming

This sport made its debut in the Paris Olympics of 1900 and was never repeated. The swimmers had to swim below the River Seine for up to 60 meters and got two points for each meter covered. France won the gold when Charles De Vandeville beat the competition with a score of 188.4 points.

High Jump for horses

Another event to make its one and only appearance during the 1900 Paris games was high jump for horses. In this sport competitors had to ride with their horse and jump over a stationary horizontal pole. The gold medal was shared between France’s Dominique Garderes on Canela and Italy’s Gian Giorgio Trissino atop Oreste.

High jump of horses

Yep, you guessed it, we are back in Paris 1900 and the event wasn’t repeated after that. Similar to the track and field event, competitors had to run and then jump as far as they can. The major difference being that in Paris they did it on a horse. Belgium’s Constant van Langendonck won gold with a 6.10-meter leap atop his horse, Extra Dry.

200m Obstacle Swimming Race

Another one for Paris 1900 and anther event held in Paris’ muddy River Seine. Swimmers had to clamber over a pole and a row of boats before swimming under another row of vessels. Australia’s Fred Lane took home the gold medal in the event. He then doubled his medal haul by also winning 200 meters men’s freestyle swimming.

While the above sports have featured in the Olympic games you might be surprised to read the following popular sports have not featured in the Olympics.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

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