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Unusual Olympic Events

 

We all know about the major events-swimming, volleyball, etc. But is this all the Olympics have to offer? Are there any sports that are a bit off-center and unexpected? You bet there are. Here are some of the more unusual Olympic sports, past and present.

Believe it or not, skeet shooting is an Olympic event. This seems odd to some people because, like car racing, shooting a gun doesn't appear to have a physical or strategic element. Maybe you won't do as much running as you would in soccer and basketball, but shooting does require strength in terms of holding a heavy gun steady and dealing with the kickback. As for strategy, anyone who's ever tried to shoot a moving target knows that it's harder than it looks! The event was first included in 1900 when they used live pigeons, but now they just use targets and the clay discs you can get in sporting goods stores. Good thing too, because I don't even want to think about the things PETA would say if they still used live pigeons.

Remember those little old ladies you used to see on the side of the road in their wind suits and headphones? They might not have known it, but they were participating in an Olympic sport. Having gotten its start in 1908, race walking is exactly that-who can walk the fastest. Since one foot must be on the ground at all times, the athletes kind of look like they're waddling. It's rather fun to watch.

If you've seen the winter Olympics recently, you've probably seen 'curling'. The game actually debuted in 1924, but this shuffleboard-like team sport has only been a regular event since 1998. It consists of a stone being cast on a sheet covered with water droplets with the goal of hitting (or getting close to) the center of what looks like a giant bullseye. The droplets can cause the stone to 'curl' and go off course, so two of the four team members get in front of it and furiously sweep them away to give the stone a clear shot. The object is to get your stone closer to the center than the other team, with points only given for the stones within the bullseye, or 'house'. The game has a lot of nuances, so you can read more about it here-http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/47810.

Some other games that have been included in the Olympics-
-Tug of War (up until 1920)
-Trampolining (currently)
-Club swinging (up until 1932)
-Rope climbing (up until 1932)

As you can see, there have been some rather interesting sports in the Olympics. Some are strange in and of themselves while others are things you wouldn't expect to see in the Olympics. As much fun as the 'usual' events are to watch, sometimes it's good to see something different.


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