Well, since the Olympics are postponed until next year, and with new additions like breakdancing being added to the 2024 games in Paris, it got us thinking of the sports of Olympics past. Here’s five Olympic sports that no longer exist that we encourage you to petition to bring back, merely for our entertainment alone.
Solo Synchronized Swimming
Yes, you read that correctly — solo synchronized swimming; the kind of oxymoronic idea that sounds great after a few bottles of wine. Sadly that wasn’t the marketing tagline, but the sport did in fact exist from 1984 to 1992. The question on everyone’s mind I’m sure: How can you be in sync with yourself? Well, you can’t — unless you’re coming at this from an existential-crisis-might-need-therapy kind of way. Apparently the event was so named under the claim that athletes were to be “in sync with the music.” Yeah ok. Perhaps Water Ballet would have been a better name.
From 1984 through 1992, the Summer Olympic Games featured solo and duet competitions, but they were both dropped in 1996 in favor of team competition — no real mystery as to why. At the 2000 Olympic Games the duet competition made a comeback and is now featured alongside the team competition.
Get your minds out of the gutter, that’s not what we’re talking about. In 1908 the Summer Olympic Games held three motorboat racing events with team names like Quicksilver and Sea Dog (an actual fact). Legend has it that the sport was invented by the ancestors of every modern-day Chad and Brad who do “totally radical“ things on jet-skis — ok that’s not true, but it feels true, doesn’t it?
The competition was essentially a series of boat races that were riddled with problems from weather conditions and mud to one competitor leaving the race mid way through. Safe to say, it was short lived.
Take a guess what this means — I bet you you’re wrong. This is essentially what every person who has ever had a bad day and owns a swimming pool does in full theatrics: jump in, sink to the bottom, don’t move, contemplate life, pop back up.
This is essentially a diving competition, but it’s not judged on any skilled athletic movements above the water, rather how far your log of a body will take you. Participants would dive into the pool and without using movements of any kind, they would sink — sorry, “glide” — face down for one minute before surfacing. Whoever had the longest “plunge” won. Spoiler: The event received criticism for its lack of athleticism and was discontinued.
Horse Long Jump:
Ah yes, the sport that tests how far a horse can jump at a competition meant to display human athleticism — makes total sense. Equestrian long jumping took place in the 1900 Olympics and was never to be seen or spoken of again.
Perhaps if we held an entire Horse Olympics, where we award horses medals for how far they can jump, how fast they can run, and overall how pretty of a pony they are then this would have some potential. I think I just heard all the horse-owning Deborahs around the world sigh in euphoric unison at the idea. One day Deb, one day.
Tug of War:
I mean, this one is pretty self-explanatory. And, if I’m being honest, of all the ones on the list this is the one I would be least offended if it had a resurgence.
The Tug-Of-War event was held at every Olympic Games for over two decades from 1900 to 1920. Who doesn’t want to win a gold medal while taking a trip down nostalgia lane? It could be interesting to see the packs of athletes in a gladiator-style event — at least this displays some level of actual strength. The sport was reportedly considered for re-inclusion in 2012, but it didn’t end up happening.