Olympic Games That Were Discontinued

Olympic Games are considered to be the world’s foremost sports competition. It is a celebration of human excellence. So when hears of the following queer games, once played in the Olympics but later discontinued, one has to ask, ‘what on Earth were they thinking?’ Here is a list of 10 peculiar Olympic Games that were discontinued for good:

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10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

 

10. PLUNGING FOR DISTANCE

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

The quirky nature of this sport was known to attract great popularity in 19th and early part of 20th century. It was quiet simple, the participant had to plunge into the water and stay motionless for the next 60 seconds while gliding face-down across the water. It was the distance covered in the water without imparting any propulsion to the body from the arms and legs that came into count. The distance traveled in the 60 seconds were measured. This game had a few variations too. Its soaring popularity, made plunging for distance an official event in the 1904 Summer Olympics but in later years the event was subjected to criticism as “not an athletic event at all.” So by the 1920s it began losing its popularity and slowly disappeared.

9. SWIMMING OBSTACLE RACE

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

This race, though fun was very exhaustive as well. The participants had to swim over 200 meters distance and the path was full of obstructions. The swimmers had to swim towards a pole, then climbing up the pole had to quickly decent down and scrambling over two boats then again under two more boats, and finally had to swim to the finish line. The men’s 200 metre obstacle event in 1900 Summer Olympics held in Paris was the only swimming obstacle race event in the history of Olympics. Needless to say it was discontinued thereafter. 

8. ROPE CLIMB

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

Most people are aware of this adventure sport, but what they perhaps don’t know is that rope climbing was at one time an Olympic gymnastic event contested between 1896 and 1932. It requires training and strength to pull off this sports in which the competitors attempt to climb up a suspended rope using only their hands. In the older version of the sport, the participant, upon reaching the top would have to touch the circular tambourine and several timers would halt their stop watches at that precise moment. Later one official time was agreed on by the timers. Now-a-days they simply use an electronic timer to count the time each participant take to reach the top.

Interesting trivia – In a late 2011 interview with the Rolling Stone Magazine, George Clooney revealed having his first orgasm at the age of 6 or 7 while climbing a rope.

7. ROQUE

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

Having its origin in the 1880s, Roque became very popular in the first quarter of the 20th century, so much so that fans named it as ‘the Game of the Century’. It was actually an American variation on the French sport of croquet and to be sure, the name itself was acquired by removing the letters ‘c’ & ‘t’ from croquet. The game is played with short-handled mallets on a hard court that is bounded by a concrete wall against which the ball rebounds and retrieves. In the 1904 St. Louis Olympics, Roque was played with participants’ only from the US. The game is still played by a few people in the United States

Interesting trivia – Roque was mentioned in Stephen King’s novel ‘The Shining’. Though in the film version the character of Jack was shown wielding an axe, in the book it was a roque mallet.

6. JEU DE PAUME

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

 

Translated in English as ‘palm game’, Jeu de Paume’ was a ball game that originated in France. This game was a precursor of tennis but was played indoors and without any rackets. Initially played with bare hands, then gloved hands, following this came the small paddle which ultimately made way for the modern day racket. Even long after the introduction of rackets the name remained ‘Jeu de Paume’, it was much later that the name changed to ‘tennis’. The game had its exhibition at the 1908 Summer Olympics and again the 1924 Summer Olympics it was played as an exhibition event.

5. TUG OF WAR

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

 

The tug of war is basically a rope pulling event that is something of a test of strength. The name sounds very dramatic for a game that merely involves two teams hauling at the opposite ends of a rope. It was only in the 19th century that the phrase ‘tug of war’ came to be associated with the game. Its exact origin is doubt-able but it is believed to have been practised in ancient Egypt, Greece and China. At one time, the Mohave Indians used this game to settle disputes. It was included in the Olympics of 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920. In the 1908 Games, the London police force won the Gold medal.

4. STANDING TRIPLE JUMP

 

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

In the past there were as many as three track and field jumping event (long jump, high jump and triple jump) that were done standing i.e. without the initial approach run-up. Standing triple jump being one of them was twice a part of Olympics, in 1900 and 1904. The name is suggestive of three jumps involved, where with the first jump the participant had to land on a single preferred foot and in the next jump would have to land on the opposite foot. In the final jump the athlete would land on two feet. The participant who covered the longest of distance on 1 of the 3 or 6 attempts was announced winner. The game is very uncommon today and though no longer, is it a part of the official competitive event but is still used as a training exercise.

3. DUELLING PISTOLS

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

 

The name brings into mind a scene of some movie with two brave men, each with a pistol in his hand, each fighting for his honor, except that the game of dueling pistol involved only one man and another mannequin dressed in a frock coat. The shooting was done from a distance of 20 to 30 meters. The mannequin’s throat was considered the bull’s eye. This game made its appearance at the unofficial Olympics 1906 Intercalated Games held in Athens and was last seen briefly at the 1912 games.

2. SOLO SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

 

Solo synchronized swimming was made an official Olympic game in 1984 and then discontinued in 1992. In this game competitors had to perform a kind of water ballet but solo. The swimmers had to sync in with the music played and that is just about the end of it. One has to wonder what the organizers were thinking while including this sports in the Olympics and why did it take them three Olympics to understand that the solo synchronized swimming was not synchronizing with the Olympics standard.

1. LIVE PIGEON SHOOTING

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

 

As unbelievable as it may sound, but Olympics had once encouraged killing of animals and passed it as sports. Contested during the 1900 Olympic Games, the result was the death of over 300 pigeons. The rule was simple, to kill as many pigeons as possible. For a prize of 20,000 Frances, the shooter endeavored to shot every bird released one at a time from the traps. Any shooter missing two birds were eliminated. Understandably, Animal rights activities made a huge row that forced the organisers into introducing clay pigeons in place of the live one. This was the only (and hopefully the last) time Olympics had featured an animal killing game.

10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good

1. LIVE PIGEON SHOOTING
2. SOLO SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING
3. DUELLING PISTOLS
4. STANDING TRIPLE JUMP
5. TUG OF WAR
6. JEU DE PAUME
7. ROQUE
8. ROPE CLIMB
9. SWIMMING OBSTACLE RACE
10. PLUNGING FOR DISTANCE

  • kcwookie

    That’s a nice list, but we should add to it.