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Olympic Games

London Olympic Games 2012 is underway. Stay with us as we cover your favorite sports. If they play it, we’ll cover it!

London has prepared to host one of the world’s greatest sporting events. The 2012 Summer Olympics has already kicked off and is followed by the Paralympic Games. The Online Sports World will be here every step of the way to cover and update you with all the latest scores from your favorite matches. Stay tuned to get your updates, previews and highlights.

Games in Olympics

  • Archery - First appeared at the 1900 Olympics in Paris. There were archery events for the next few Olympics, but then it disappeared from the Olympic program for more than 50 years. It reappeared at Munich in 1972 and has remained a fixture ever since.
  • Badminton - First held as a demonstration sport at the 1972 Summer Olympics. In 1988 it again appeared at the Olympics as an exhibition sport. Badminton premiered as a full-medal Olympic sport at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Badminton was again featured at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and has continued as a full-medal sport since then. The Mixed Doubles were included in the Olympic Games for the first time in Atlanta in 1996.
  • Basketball - In 1936 in Berlin, basketball was admitted as an Olympic sport for the first time.
  • Beach Volleyball - Beach volleyball was first introduced at the 1992 Games as a demonstration sport, and was a new addition as an official sport at the Olympic Games in 1996. Indoor volleyball has been officially played at the Olympic Games since 1964, though it appeared earlier as a demonstration sport.
  • Boxing - Has been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since 1904, except for in 1912 in Stockholm as Swedish law banned the sport at the time. In 2009, the IOC voted to include women's boxing at the 2012 London Games, so now there are men and women competing in all sports.
  • Canoeing and Kayaking - Canoe and Kayak races at the Olympic Games are held on both flat water with competitors assigned to lanes (Sprint Events), and in slalom events. There are single, double and four boats. The kayak boats are identified by the letter “K” while the canoes are prefixed by a “C”, with the following number indicating the number of paddlers. Below is a list of all the events that are currently on the Olympic program.
  • Cycling - A core Olympic sport, and one of five sports that has been contested at every summer Olympic games since 1896. The others are: Athletics, Fencing, Gymnastics and Swimming. Some cycling events such as the 1,000m sprint and the 4,000m team pursuit have had a long history at the Olympics, while others have been dropped from the program such as the Tandem even.
  • Diving - There are several events as part of the Olympic diving program: 10m platform, 3m springboard individual and synchronized events (all for men and women).
    The newest addition is synchronized diving for the springboard and platform, which was added to the program for 2000. In synchronized diving two divers complete a dive simultaneously in which the dives are perfectly timed for height and distance from the board or platform, speed of rotation, and angle of entry into the water. Competitors choose from a list of dives that have been rated according to their degree of difficulty (or they can create their own). Points are awarded for approach, take-off, elevation, execution of movements and entry into the water.
  • Equestrian - There are currently three disciplines in equestrian at the Olympics: Jumping, Dressage, Eventing. Show jumping was introduced to the Olympic Games in 1900. Dressage and Three-day eventing were introduced in 1912.
  • Fencing - One of only five sports have been contested at every summer Olympic games since 1896. The others are: Athletics, Cycling, Gymnastics and Swimming. The competition rules and fencing weapons used have varied a little over the history of the modern Olympics. Three types of weapon are used in the sport of Olympic fencing today: the Foil, Épée and Sabre. The singlestick was featured in the 1904 Olympic Games, but it was already declining in popularity at that time.
  • Field Hockey - First introduced at the Olympic Games for men in 1908 in London. It was subsequently removed from the Olympics at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games due to the lack of an international structure. It was back in 1928 after the The International Hockey Federation (FIH) was founded.
  • Gymnastics - One of five sports that have been contested at every summer Olympic games since 1896. The others are: Athletics, Cycling, Fencing and Swimming.
  • Handball - First introduced at the Olympic Games at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, in a competition for men only. It was dropped from the program after this, and not played again at the Olympics until the 1972. The women's handball competition was added to the program at the 1976 Summer Games.
  • Judo - First included for men at the Olympic Games in 1964 Games in Tokyo. Judo was not included in the following Games in 1968, though was reinstated as an Olympic sport from then on. Women's judo was introduced as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Olympics, and became an official sport in 1992.
  • Modern Penthatlon - The sport of Modern Pentathlon includes five events held over two days. These events combine all of the aspects of traditional combat: mastery of the sword, precision marksmanship, ability to control cavalry both in the confines of the arena and in the cross-country, and the physical stamina to cross many miles of both land and water.
  • Rowing - Program at the 1896 Summer Olympics but was cancelled due to weather. It has been on the Olympic program since 1900. Women's events were introduced at the 1976 Games in Montreal.
  • Sailing - One of the Olympic sports since the first Olympic Games. The first evernts in 1896 were cancelled, and it was not included in the 1904 program, but has been in every other Olympic program.
  • Shooting - It has long been a part of the Olympic Games program. Pigeon shooting was a sport in 1900. Fortunately this shooting event was short lived. It was the only time animals were killed on purpose during an Olympic event. Women's shooting events were first included in the Olympics in 1984. There were three events, three position rifle, air rifle and sport pistol.
    The first brothers to win Olympic gold medals were Americans John and Sumner Paine - they came first in the military pistol and free pistol shooting events respectively in 1896.
    Right-handed Hungarian Karoly Takcaz, a member of the Hungary pistol-shooting team, had his shooting hand shattered by a grenade in 1938. After this setback he taught himself to shoot with his left, and 10 years later won the gold in the rapid-fire pistol event at the 1948 London Games.
  • Football/Soccer - The first team sport added to the Olympics, in 1900. At first only a men's competition was included. A women's event was added in 1996. The 1932 Games was not supposed to include football as part of the program, due to the low popularity of football in the United States. The world governing body for Football (FIFA) and the IOC also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games. This led to FIFA organising their own World Cup, which was first held in 1930. In 1984, in a compromise with FIFA, professional soccer players were allowed to compete, but only if they hadn't previously been part of a World Cup event.
  • Swimming - One of five sports that have been contested at every summer Olympic games since 1896. The others are: Athletics, Cycling, Fencing, and Gymnastics.
  • Synchronized Swimming - Became popular in the 1930s when it was featured in the Ester Williams films of the era. The sport was introduced to the Olympic Games for the 1984 Games in LA. Only women compete in the Synchronized Swimming events at the Olympic Games. The current Olympic program has competition in duet and team events, but in past games, a solo event was also contested. The women's solo event was held from 1984 to 1992, where it was replaced on the competition program by the team event from 1996 onwards.
  • Table Tennis - It has been part of the Summer Olympic Games since 1988. Participants compete in both men and women's singles and doubles events. The table tennis events have been dominated by athletes from China. The best all-time performing Table Tennis Player at the Olympic Games is Wang Nan from China with 4 gold and one silver from 2000–2008. The best performing male player is Lin Ma also from China with 3 golds. (results up until 2012). See more on the Greatest Table Tennis Players at the Olympics.
  • Taekwondo - Was a demonstration sport at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games. Taekwondo was first competed as an official Olympic sport at the 2000 Games. The best all-time performing Taekwondo athletes at the Olympic Games are Steven López (USA) and Hadi Saei (Iran) each with 2 golds and one bronze medal. The best female is Chen Zhong of China with two gold medals (results up until 2012). See more the the Greatest Olympic Taekwondo Athletes.
  • Tennis - Has a long history at the Olympic Games. Tennis was played at the Olympics until 1924, then reinstituted in 1988. Starting from the 2004 Athens Olympics, results from the Olympics count towards both the ATP and WTA world rankings.
  • Track and Field - Athletics is one of five sports that have been contested at every summer Olympic games since 1896. The others are: Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics and Swimming. Of the men's track and field events, 12 men’s have been contested at all Games – 100 m, 400 m, 800 m, 1,500 m, 110 m hurdles, marathon, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put, and discus throw. Of the women's events, four events have been contested at all Olympic Games – 100 m, 4 x 100 m relay, high jump, and discus throw.
  • Triathlon (swimming,biking,running) - The sport of Triathlon was first contested at the Sydney 2000 Games. Discipline distances vary in triathlon competitions around the world. The distances used at the Olympics are a 1.5 kilometer swim, 40 kilometer cycle, and a 10 kilometer run. Races run over this distance are now commonly known as 'Olympic Distance' events. At the Olympics there is an event for both men and women.
  • Volleyball - Was first played at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris as a demonstration sport as part of an American sports demonstration event. It has been officially played at the Olympic Games since 1964. Beach Volleyball was introduced officially in 1996.
  • Water Polo - It has been part of the Summer Olympics program since Paris in 1900. A women's water polo tournament was first introduced to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
  • Weightlifting - Has been at the Olympic Games in all years except 1900, 1908 and 1912. In the current competition format, each athlete has three attempts for each movement. The best performances in each lift are combined to determine the winners. Men’s Categories: Up to 56 kg, 56-62 kg, 62-69 kg, 69-77 kg, 77-85 kg, 85-94 kg, 94-105 kg, Over 105 kg. Women’s Categories: Up to 48 kg, 48-53 kg, 58-63 kg, 63-69 kg, 69-75 kg, Over 75 kg.
  • Wrestling - Was an event at the ancient Olympic Games, and was also included in the first Olympic Games in 1896. Since then, wrestling has been included in every Olympic program. The organizers of the Olympics introduced Greco-Roman wrestling, a style they believed to be an exact carryover from the wrestling styles used in ancient times. In 1904, the Olympic Games added the second wrestling event and called it "freestyle", allowed the wrestlers to use their legs for pushing, lifting and tripping, and they could also hold their opponents above or below the waist.

Previous Olympic Sports

These are just some of the sports that have once been part of the Olympic program. More can be found on Discontinued Olympic Sports.

  • Croquet - There was only ever one croquet competition in Olympic Games history, held in 1900 in Paris. France won all events, which is not surprising as mostly French competitors took part. There were three women competing, but they did not win any medals. These were some of the first women to take part in the Olympic Games. This tournament was also not a success with the spectators. Only one fan watched the events - an Englishman who had travelled from Nice especially for the occasion. No wonder we have not seen this event at the Olympics again
  • Motorboating - Also called Powerboating or Water Motor Sports was an official sport only once at the Olympic Games, in 1908 (it was also a demonstration sport in 1900). In 1908 there were three categories - the eight-meter, 60-foot and open class. The event, sprictly for men, involved racing five laps (or 40 nautical miles) around a specific course. Speeds were not impressive by today's standards: average speeds were around the 19mph mark. It was not a great spectator sport either, with the action taking place off Southampton, where virtually no one could see the action. Due to bad weather, six out of the nine scheduled races were cancelled. No wonder we never saw this event again at the Olympic Games.
  • Polo - It was on the Olympic program five times, in 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924 and 1936. In the final game played at the Olympic level in 1936, Argentina won gold in front of a crowd of 45,000 people
  • Tug-of-War - The tug of war event was held at the Olympics from 1900 to 1920. Tug-of-war was always contested as a part of the track & field athletics programme, although it is now considered a separate sport. This may seem like an unusual Olympic sport, but in fact it was part of the Ancient Olympics, first being held in in 500BC. In the modern Olympics, the tug-of-war contest was between two teams of eight. One team had to pull the other six feet along in order to win. If after 5 minutes no team had done this, the team which had pulled the most was declared the winner.
  • Plunge for distance - Like the underwater swimming event, the plunge for distance is a common event in the backyard pool, and it once made it to the greatest international sporting stage. The competitors began with a standing dive, then had to remain motionless underwater for one minute or until their heads broke the surface of the water, whichever came first. The longest distance recorded won the event. This event was only held once at the Olympics, in Paris 1904. It is not surprising that it was never seen again on the Olympic program. The first three places went to members of the New York Athletic Club.
  • Underwater Swimming - A common event in the backyard pool, and once it made it to the greatest international sporting stage. This event was only held once at the Olympics, in Paris 1900. It is not surprising that it was never seen again on the Olympic program considering the lack of appeal for spectators. Maybe now with underwater cameras it could make a comeback. The event is held over a maximum of 60m, where competitors were awarded two points for each meter swum underwater, and one point for each second that they stayed under water.
  • 200m Obstacle Race - Swimming - This unusual swimming event seems very complex but a lot of fun. A combination of a swimming event and an obstacle race, the competitors had to climb over a pole, then scramble over a row of boats, and then swim under another row of boats. All this was done in the to swim in the River Seine, so they competitors also had to contend with the current. This event was only ever held in 1900, but it would be an crowd favorite if it was ever to return.
  • Cricket - Is currently a very popular sport in many parts of the world, though it has only made one appearance at the Olympic Games, in Paris 1900. There was only a single twelve-a-side match, with a team from England beating a French team (which was made up mostly of Englishmen: British Embassy staff who secured a few days off from the office!). The lack of competing nations and the one-sided affair did not bode well for further inclusion in the Olympic Games.
    Other Olympic cricket trivia is that on June 29 1948, the day the London Olympic games began at Wembley Stadium in London, the famed Australian 'Invincibles' cricket side was finishing off England in a test at nearby Lord's, winning by 409 runs.
  • Lacrosse - Has been on the official Olympic program twice, in 1904 and 1908. In 1904, two Canadian teams challenged a local team from St. Louis, with the Shamrock Lacrosse Team of Winnipeg winning the gold medal. Players on the bronze medal-winning Canadian lacrosse team consisted of Mohawk Indians, and included players named Rain In Face, Snake Eater and Man Afraid Soap. In 1908, only two teams competed, from Canada and Great Britain.
    Lacrosse was also a demonstration sport at the Olympics in 1928, 1932 and 1948.
  • Jeu de Paume - Literally means "game of the palm," was played only once as an official sport at Olympic level, in 1908. The game is like squash but using your hands instead of a racket to strike the ball. The competition was held at the Queen's Club in West Kensington, London. Jeu de Paume is also called 'Real Tennis' or 'Court Tennis'. What we now call Tennis or Lawn Tennis (which was also a demonstration sport and now an official Olympic medal sport) is derived from this older version of the game.
  • Racquets or Rackets - Was an early form of the game now known as racquetball. It once appeared on the Olympic program, in 1908. The competition was dominated by Great Britain, who won all three medals in both singles and doubles.

Olympic Games Added for 2016

  • Rugby - In August 2009, the IOC voted on which two sports will be added to the Olympic program in 2016, selecting Rugby and Golf. Although Rugby has been part of the Olympics previously, it has not been on the program since 1924. Also, in 2016, the game will be played in the more exciting fast paced Rugby 7s version of the game, with competitions for both men and women.
  • Golf - In August 2009, the IOC voted on which two sports to add to the program in 2016, with golf being selected along with Rugby. There will be both a men's and women's competition in 2016 in Rio. There has been a men's golf event in a couple of early Olympic Games.

Recently Removed Sports

  • Baseball - The popular world sport of baseball was a demonstration sport at the Olympics for the most part of the 20th century, and only became an official Olympic sport in 1992. This was only short lived, as it was dropped from the 2012 Games program.
  • Softball - Softball is an event for women only. Along with baseball, softball was dropped from the Olympic program after the 2008 Olympics.
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