The Summer Olympics draws billions of viewers every four years to watch their country compete in the most competitive sports arena in the world. Over the years, the Olympics has picked up many new sports, but it is not to often you hear about the sports that have been put to rest. There are many interesting Olympic facts but this article is dedicated to remembering the different sports that have passed on to greener pastures. We give a brief overview of each sport and possible reasons why they are pretty much extinct.
Roque is the bastardized American version of Croquet. The name was achieved by removing the first and last letter from Croquet. Roque is very similar to croquet in that you smack a ball around and try to get it through wickets. The major difference between Roque and Croquet is that Roque is played on a rolled sand court with a permanent boundary and the wickets are permanently anchored to the ground. Roque only made one appearance in the Olympics which took place in 1904. The United States was the only team to bring competitors so the game was abolished from the Olympics.
Rackets is an indoor racquet sport mainly practiced in the United Kingdom. It is very similar to squash with a few differences. The main difference that I can see, is the racquet is 30.5 inches long, which is quite the long racquet. This sport quickly fizzled out after its sole appearance in the 1908 Olympics when the only Country that brought a team to compete was Great Britain. I guess the rest of the world could care less about rackets, so I'm going to stop talking about it.
10.Jeu de paume
Don't worry, you are not the only one out there who has never heard of Jeu de Paume, I actually had to Google it! Jeu de paume eventually evolved into Tennis, but in its earliest state it was more or less lawn tennis played without racquets. Basically, you hit the ball with your hand similar to handball or volleyball. If you translate jeu de paume to english, it literally means 'game of palm'; those French are so clever when it comes to naming sports! Anyways, this event lasted for one Olympic year, 1908, and then vanished into the abyss never to be spoken of by an English speaking human again.
Pelote basque is a bit of a weird court sport. It consists of two walls and a variety of different means to hit the ball off these walls. You can use your hand, a bat, or some form of racquet. This sport has such a small following that nobody even knows the score on the only match ever played in Olympic history. The only thing we know is that Spain beat France and as a result was awarded the gold medal. If I never heard of this sport again, I doubt I'd be upset.
I can just picture the hordes of people lining up to watch an exciting match of Croquet at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Or maybe I can't, and that is probably the reason those responsible for the Olympics axed croquet after its sole appearance in 1900. 10 Competitors showed up to play, nine of them from France and one from Belgium. France managed to clean up all 7 gold medals. They should have drug tested those crazy French!
The sport of royalty made an appearance at five summer Olympics; 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924, and 1936. I'm not quite sure why they stopped including this sport, but only 8 teams have ever actually competed. If you don't know what polo is, it is basically a team sport played on horseback where competitors try to drive a wooden or plastic ball into the opponents net using a giant wooden mallet. Each team consists of four riders; pretty exciting huh?
Power boating is another one of the sports that if it made it out of the early 1900s probably would have grown to be a pretty big hit in the modern day. Unfortunately, power boating only made one appearance in the Olympics and that was in 1908. Three events took place and in each event, two competitors started the race but only one finished. The three events were the 8-Meter Class, the Under 60 Foot Class and the Open class. Maybe one day another power boating event will resurface!
Yes, Cricket was also once an Olympic sport, but only for a very short time. Cricket made an appearance in the 1900 Olympics but its existence in the Olympics was very short lived. When only four teams showed up to compete (Belgium, Holland, Great Britain and France) there wasn't exactly the level of competition some would have desired. Belgium and Holland eventually pulled out leaving Great Britain to battle France for the championship! Great Britain wound up winning the two matches and for some reason was only awarded the silver medal, while France was honored with the Bronze. I thought if you won an event, even if there was only two competitors you still won gold, but I guess I don't know much! As a result of the poor acceptance of Cricket, it never made another appearance in the Olympics.
It was not until recently I learned to appreciate watching golf on TV, or live for that matter. It seems like I'm not the only one who had a preconceived notion that Golf was not an entertaining sport to watch. As a result of people falling asleep while watching the extremely action packed sport of golf, the event only lasted in the Olympics for two years; 1900 and 1904.
This is one sport I'm truly sad is no longer in the Olympics. It is fast paced, exciting and let us not forget VIOLENT. Players run up and down a field trying to put a hard rubber ball into the net. Players wore minimal pads and are allowed to hit each other with their sticks. Honestly, what is not to like? Unfortunately, the first year the sport was a competition sport (1904), only three teams showed up to compete. In 1908 even less countries had the balls to take the punishment Lacrosse had to offer and only two teams showed up to compete. Lacrosse made appearances as a demonstration event in 1928, 1932 and 1948 before completely vanishing from the Olympics.
Rugby, as popular of a sport as it is today was successfully removed from the Olympics after just four appearances. The sport was never consistently an Olympic sport but was an event in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924. Over the course of the 4 Olympics where Rugby was played, only six teams every competed resulting in a lack of competition. Any sport similar to football, with more violence and less stoppage of play is a great sport in my book. If anybody knows somebody on the Olympic committee and can get Rugby brought back do us all a favor and give him/her a shout!
Yes ladies and gentlemen, Tug-Of-War was once an Olympic sport and was part of the track and field athletics program. If you are from Mars and have never heard of Tug-Of-War, I'll explain it for you. Two teams arrange on opposite sides of a line in a giant sandbox. All members of the team grab the rope and when the event begins you pull as hard as possible in an attempt to pull your opponents across the line. If you pull one member of their team across the line, you win; basically a giant brute strength competition. Today, Tug-Of-War is mostly competed in gym classes at elementary schools across North America. It is also a popular event on some TV game shows. Tug-Of-War was an active event in the Olympics in the following years: 1900, 1904, 1906 (Intercalated Games),1908, 1912, 1920
There have been a couple other sports that have popped up, but they only went as far as becoming demonstration sports. Because these two sports were only included in the Summer Olympics as demonstrations, they only get 'honorable mentions'.
Water Skiing briefly made an appearance in the Olympics in 1972 but only as a demonstration sport. Six different water skiing events took place including figure skiing, slalom and skiing for both men and women.
Rink hockey is another way to say Roller hockey. Back in the early 90's roller hockey was becoming immensely popular, and as a result it had its year in the lime light as a demonstration event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The sport ceased to exist in the Olympics after its sole appearance in Barcelona.