The Unexpected Olympics

The Unexpected Olympics

Answering our questions about the world famous games.

We can all say with confidence that 2020 has been an unusual year. The most renowned occasions are being postponed around the world and the Olympics are no exception. With the Summer games only rolling around every four years, they will be greatly missed this season. To fill the void, we’re taking a closer look at the oddities surrounding the Olympics. 

Unusual Sports
  • Handball: Yes. The playground game everyone loved as a kid has grown up. If you are unfamiliar, you can think of handball as a crossover between soccer and dodgeball. Players transition back and forth between offense and defense with the hope of launching the ball into the back of the opponent’s net. 

  • Swimming Obstacle Race: Do you remember those hot summer days when the cool water of a pool was the only relief? Creating an obstacle course with the pool floaties is a favorite childhood pastime. In 1900, the Olympics expanded our underwater courses into a real event. The swimming obstacle race was a one hit wonder in the athletics world during the Paris Olympics.
  • Tug of War: Brute strength was put to the ultimate test as a track and field event. Sticking around for a few tournaments, a serious game of Tug of War gathered many nostalgic viewers. While we loved the game at our annual summer camps as kids, the event eventually left the Olympic scene after 1920. 

  • Tandem Cycling: The leisure filled activity met its foil during past Olympic games. Duos from countries around the world would work together in hopes of achieving the gold. While this event is no longer a part of the Olympics, you can still watch the tandem racers at the Paralympics. 

  • Table Tennis: Another quintessential pastime that’s made its way into the spotlight of the Olympics. Unlike the games you may play at home, table tennis generates a sweat on the eyebrow of its most fierce players. At whirl-wind speeds, you may need to take a seat to avoid the dizziness of a ball flying back and forth.

 

Events left in the dust
  • Water Skiing: Contrary to expectations, water-skiing was only an event at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Why hasn’t it made a comeback? Many associate water skiing with motorized boats and overlook the athleticism involved. This unfortunate circumstance cuts it from the games. Guess we’ll have to wait until the Winter Games to see any skiing action. 

  • Dodgeball: With its cousin Handball as an official event, it makes people wonder why dodgeball has yet to make the status of being an Olympic sport. The essential aim combined with the overt competition seems to make it a shoe-in as an event. Ben Stiller may have a thing or two to say about this favorite pastime… 
  • American football: As a proud American brand, football has been rooted into W&S lives through cheering on our High School, then college and now our city's team. Despite our deep love for the game, this is not a profound feeling in most other countries. As a result, American football is left behind as an Olympic sport. Nevertheless, we will keep our hopes up for the future.
  • Lacrosse: Accuracy and fortitude: two characteristics that propel Lacrosse into what seems like an obvious olympic sport. Yet, it’s been unable to stay on the world stage for more than a handful of years. The likely culprit for its downfall is the lack of competitors. As a popular game in Canada and the United States, the rest of the world has not caught up with its excitement. 
  • Baseball/Softball: As our final event left in the dust, it is capping our discussion of Olympic oddities with great news: the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo plans on reinstating baseball and softball! Unluckily, the games have all been cancelled. This leaves us waiting another year until we see it as an Olympic event. Its turbulent past of being an event and eventually being dismissed, has created overwhelming anticipation for fans across the globe.