The 2016 Olympic Games are just around the corner, but are you familiar with all the events? Here are some of the strangest sports in the Olympics.
1.) Race Walking
Chances are you have heard of Olympic sprinting before. It was only four years ago that Usain Bolt made US gambling news by becoming the first man in history to win both the 100 and 200 meter sprint titles. Race Walking is sort of like sprinting, except you don’t run. You sort-of gallop.
This sport was first introduced to the Olympics in 1908. That event featured only men. Women’s race walking became an Olympic sport in 1992. The men’s event goes up to 50 km, while the women’s is capped at 20 km.
Race Walking is a little bizarre for a number of reasons. When watching a race, it’s hard not to ask, why don’t they just run? It is by no means an easy sport, and is actually the longest race for an athletic event, but it is bizarre nonetheless. Watch the video below and see for yourself.
2.) Synchronized Swimming
You can’t make a list of strange Olympics sports without including synchronized swimming. This sport was first introduced to the Olympics in 1984. It is a combination of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, in which the athletes are judged on their artistic impression, execution, and difficulty of the swim.
Like race walking, this is probably an event that requires a great deal of athleticism. That doesn’t make it any less bizarre. It’s hard to imagine how someone gets involved in synchronized swimming. Were they dancers? Swimmers?
3.) Equestrian: Dressage
Unlike race walking and synchronized swimming, dressage actually makes sense. Many years ago horses were the primary means of transportation, and being able to ride your horse with skill meant you were of high-class.
What I don’t understand about it, however, is why in the world it’s an Olympic sport. Does it take any athletic ability for the rider? It certainly looks like the horse is doing most of the work. And yes, of course the horse had to be trained… It still does not make it an athletic event.
You may have never heard of dressage before reading this list. Feel free to watch the video below to learn more about what exactly this event is all about.
4.) Table Tennis
Let’s get one thing straight. Table tennis is amazing. How those players are able to smack that tiny ball back and forth is mind boggling. You have to admit though, it’s one of the strangest sports in the Olympics.
Table tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988. China has largely dominated the competition, winning 47 medals (24 of which were gold) in 28 events. China has been so dominant, that the International Olympic Committee has actually had to change the rules! Only 2 athletes from each country can compete now, meaning China cannot win all three medals.
Out of all these strange Olympic sports, this may be the most entertaining to watch. It is not clear how much actual athletic ability is required to play, but there’s no doubt that high-level table tennis requires a great deal of skill.
This is another sport that historically speaking makes sense. Years and years ago archery was a valuable skill to have, so let’s see who’s the best? The applicability of archery today is not high, and why this is an Olympic sport is still somewhat debatable.
Like many of the sports on this list, archery does not appear to take a great deal of athletic talent. That string is probably hard to pull back?
It certainly requires skill and patience, and young Brazilian, Marcus Vinicius D’Almeida has even been dubbed the “Neymar of archery.” If you have never seen Olympic archery, take a look at the video below.
Did you know this was an Olympic sport? Sailing was first introduced to the Olympics in 1896, making it one of the oldest sports in modern Olympics. It is a little strange though, isn’t it? It seems the wind would play an awfully big factor in the athlete’s success.
Sailing is without a doubt one of the strangest sports in the Olympics. Just a take a look at the Irish commentary on a heated race below. He sums it up quite well.
What do you think is the strangest sport in the Olympics? Leave your comments below, and make sure to check out GamingZion’s list of online sportsbooks in the US and find the best website to bet on the 2016 Olympics!