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:
10 Peculiar Olympic Games That Were Discontinued For Good
10. PLUNGING FOR DISTANCE
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
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
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.
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
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
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.