With the possible inclusion of breakdancing in the 2024 Games, it seems like the right time to look back at some of the Olympics more interesting events. Some sports no longer exist in the summer and winter programs, while others are still around. Check out the weirder side of the Olympics.
It’s not quite an official Olympic sport yet, but the IOC has provisionally approved breakdancing to be featured at the 2024 Paris Games. The inaugural rope climb in 1896 boasted a 49-foot scale to the top. The length was cut to 25-feet in 1900, since only two athletes reached the the goal in the previous program. Skijoring first appeared as a demonstration sport at the 1928 Winter Games. The racing event featured a skier towed to a horse, dogs or reindeer. A sport anyone can get behind, the tug of war event was prominent event in the early 20th Century. Another demonstration event showcased at the Calgary Games in 1988, ski ballet was more similar to gymnastics than dance, except with skis. It suffered the same fate as skijoring by not becoming an official Olympics sport. Once featured in the equestrian program, the horse long jump no longer exists. The speed ski event never got passed its first run as a demonstration sport in 1992. Tragically, Swiss athlete Nicholas Bochatay died during a practice run. The tandem race was a mainstay at the Games from 1908 to 1972, but now lives on as an event at the Paralympics. Dressage is the event that is all about the high steps. Despite a 12-year absence, the equestrian has been featured regularly since 1900. Appearing as a demonstration sport at the 1908 Games, dueling poised two pistol wielding competitors against each other. They fired wax bullets and wore protective gear on the head, hands and torso. Racewalking might not sound like much, but the event has a storied history in discipline and long distance. There are only two rules to this sport: The back toe must not leave the ground and the supporting leg must remain straight.