11 Weird Athletics That Were Actually In The Olympics At Some Phase

Some severely strange sports have appeared at the Olympic Games over the years. Tug of waror live pigeon shooting, anyone?

With Rio 2016 kicking off on Friday, The Huffington Post takes a look at some of the weirdest events to have taken place at previous Olympiads.

Warning: Some are definitely not for the faint-hearted!

Check them out here 😛 TAGEND

1 Live Pigeon Shooting

Dethan Punalur via Getty Images

It would have been an animal rights activist’s worst nightmare.Almost 300 birds were reportedly killed when the live pigeon shooting event built its only Olympic appearance at the Paris Game in 1900.

BelgianLeon de Lundengunned down2 1 birds to take the title. But he was unable to repeat his win, as future Games find the live animals replaced with clay targets.

2 Swimming Obstacle Course

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Paris’ muddy River Seinehosted the 200 -meter obstacle swimming race for the first and only period at the 1900 Games.

Swimmers had to clamber over a pole and a row of boats before swimming under another row of vessels. Australias Fred Lane took home the gold medal in the event, as well as finishing first in the 200 meters freestyle.

3 Tug Of War

Great Britain Tug Of War Team by Topical Press Agency via Getty Images

Tug of Warfeatured in five modern Olympic Games, from Paris 1900 through to Antwerp 1920( 1916 s Olympiad was cancelled after the outbreak of World War I ).

Teams of eight had five minutes to pull their foes six feet over a line. If there was no win after the time limit expired, the team whod pulled their contenders the furthest would win.

Milwaukee Athletics ClubrepresentedTeam USA andwon gold at the 1904 Game in St. Louis, Missouri. Pictured here is theGreat Britain team taking on Ireland in the London 1908 competition.

4 Long Jump For Horses

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The long jump is a staple of way and field, while equestrian is one of the more elegant Olympic categories. So how about combining the two?

IOC boss did exactly that for the first and only time at the 1900 Game in Paris when Belgiums Constant van Langendonck won gold with a 6.10 -meter leap atop his pony, Extra Dry.

The distance may seem very impressive, until you recall that Team USA Mike Powell’s 1991 men world record is, at 8.95 meters, virtually 3 meters longer.

5 High Jump For Horses

Wikipedia/ Creative Commons

Alongside the equestrian long jump, the horse high jumpalso made its sole appearance during the 1900 Paris Game.

Two competitors took first place on the pulpit after geeing up their ponies to leap1. 85 meters into the air and over a horizontal pole — France’s Dominique Garderes on Canela( pictured) and Italy’s Gian Giorgio Trissino atop Oreste.

6 Plunge For Distance

Stanislaw Pytel via Getty Images

Team USAs William Dickey remains the reigning Olympic champion in the plunge for distance, some 112 years after winning gold at the 1904 Game in St. Louis, Missouri.

Thats because the event was never recurred. Dickey managed to glide below the surface for an astonishing 62 feet and 6 inches after diving into the water.

7 Croquet

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The sedate sport of croquet appeared at the Olympics on only one occasion, atParis in 1900. It’snotable for beingthe first Olympic event in which women took component— albeit against their male counterparts and not in their own rivalry.

Home nation France tookgold in all four categories, but the sport was removed from subsequent Olympiads after just one spectatorreportedly depicted up to watch.

8 Rope Climbing


Rope climbing featured at five Olympics, from1 896 to 1932. From a seated start, athletes used only their hands to clamber up 49 feet at Athens 1896, and then 25 feet of rope in the later events.

Greeces Nikolaus Andriakopoulos( pictured) won the inaugural Olympiad. He was one of only two people to make it all the way to the top that year.

At the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Missouri, Team USA’s George Eysertook the title. Hisfeat was all the more incredible because he had one wooden leg.

9 Tandem Bicycle Sprint

Past Pix/ SSPL/ Getty Images

Tandem cycling, which ensure two two-men teams racing over 2,000 meters, was a major fixture of the Olympic program from 1908 to 1972.

It lives on at the Paralympics. Pictured here are Germanys Ernst Ihbe and Charly Lorenz who took home the gold medal at Berlin 1936.

10 Standing High Jump


The track and field staple at every Olympics from 1900 to 1912 insure competitors find how high a bar they could jumping over from a standing position.

Team USAs Ray Ewry( pictured) was the undisputed master of the discipline, winning gold three times from 1900 to 1908. His best effort watched him clear 1.655 meters at Paris in 1900.

Ewry, who contracted polio as a youngster and used a wheelchair for much of his childhood, also dominated in the stand long jump and triple jump events — in which he wona further five gold medals.

11 Underwater Swimming

Zena Holloway via Getty Images

Underwater swimming stimulated its one and only appearance at the Olympics in Paris 1900. Competitors swam below the surface area of the River Seine for up to 60 meters, gaining two points for each meter they covered and another one for every second they were submerged. Frances Charles DeVandeville won gold with 188.4 phases.

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