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Are Some of the Olympic Events Truly Olympic?

The inclusion of sports like Taekwondo and kayaking in the Olympic Games makes some sports enthusiasts a little crazy.

 

With events of the 2012 London Olympics just a little more than a month away, it's time for a certain group of sports purists to dust off the particulars of their perpetual argument: There are some sports included in the worldwide Olympic games that are simply not true sports.

On Tuesday, the online news source Mother Nature Network posted an excellent article by writer Matt Hickman in which he flipped the coin, and talked about events that once were, but no longer are, a part of the Olympic venue.

Hickman notes that at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, nine sports were included: wrestling, fencing, athletics (track and field events), cycling, tennis, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics and shooting.

Over the years, many others have come and gone, often instigated by the hosting country, holding an event that may be popular in that particular country.

This year, the number of contested sports is down from 2008 Beijing. Twenty-six  events will be contested.

For instance, baseball is gone. And solo synchronized swimming has left the pool.

Here's Hickman's list of some unusual sports that were once Olympic, but no more:

  • Croquet — 1900, Paris
  • Live pigeon shooting — 1900, Paris
  • Hot air ballooning — 1900, Paris (unofficial)
  • Tug-of-war — 1920, Antwerp
  • Glima — 1912, Stockholm (demonstration)
  • Korfball — 1928, Amsterdam (demonstration)
  • Club swinging — 1932, Los Angeles
  • Water skiing — 1972, Munich (demonstration)
  • Solo synchronized swimming — 1992, Barcelona

What are your thoughts? Should we get back to nine contested sports, and eliminate things like Taekwondo, or Canoeing/Kayaking, or Table Tennis? Or do these extra sports add a little variety to the Games, and make for more enjoyable experiences for us as we watch?

Let us know in your comments, then vote in the poll below.

Susan Gonzales June 24, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Of course if you are am enthusiastic participant of a sport or event, you would want it included in the Olympics. Let's not forget that many dancers are considered athletes too
joe plumber June 24, 2012 at 03:41 PM
There are all kinds of weird events now ..volleyball? Beach volleyball? Snowboarding freestyle??? Ski freestyle, its all driven by large corporations who sponsor teen and young adult idols who promote big corporations products..
Barb Valley June 24, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Not at all interested in the Olympics so don't care what is or isn't included.
Kali June 25, 2012 at 06:00 AM
I love the Olympics. I was at the Olympic Trials for swimming and it was the best experience an athlete who has trained so hard during their life gets to experience. Concerning other sports outside the the original nine, why not include other sports? Esp if they are of interest to other countries and have a following. Why not honor excellence, no matter what it is or where it comes from. The only issue is how we are able to view the events. AS far as I am concerned, NBC has the rights, but provide TERRIBLE coverage. That is where the problem is. We could have alot of events, but need to take away the monopoly from this network so we can see them all. NBC shows more commercials, yap and cut off events more than they cover the Olympics. That is where the REAL change is needed.
Valda Mort June 25, 2012 at 07:02 PM
The olympic games have become a giant commercial for the various sponsers and have nothing in common with the original intent. If we kept the games as they were meant to be viewed, the United States and other war mongers would not be allowed to participate since they are countries at war. The whole thing is a farce and a joke.

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