Five former Olympic sports you won't see in Rio

  • Special Feature
  • Tuesday, 02 Aug 2016

epa05451346 People walk past a fence with the Rio 2016 logo at the Olympic Park Barra prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 01 August 2016. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games take place from 05 to 21 August. EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

The programme has varied greatly over the years since the first modern Games in 1896. Here’s a look at five former Olympic sports you won’t be seeing this year in Rio:  

In this photograph taken on May 30, 2016, a racing pigeon prepares to land in a cage after a day of flying during the pigeon race national championship in Islamabad.Bird cages and enthusiasts can be found on rooftops in the old districts of cities across the country. Millions of fans across the country are enthralled by low and high altitude flying competitions, and races in which opponents attempt to distract each others' birds. / AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI / TO GO WITH Lifestyle-Pakistan-sports-animals,FEATURE by Caroline Nelly
Live pigeon shooting featured at the Paris Olympics in 1900. It was a messy affair.
  • Live pigeon shooting

Pigeon shooting featured for the first – and only – time at the Paris Olympics in 1900, where around 300 birds were killed in the pursuit of sporting glory. The event was messy: six birds were released in front of the shotgun-wielding competitor, who was eliminated if he missed two of them. The result was an awful lot of blood and dead birds, although the event was described as “very aristocratic” in the official Olympic report. Belgium’s Leon de Lunden was champion for downing 21 birds, one more than runner-up Maurice Faure of France; Australia’s Donald MacIntosh was third with 18 kills. However, the gory event does not get a mention on the Olympics results database, and it has not reappeared at the Games since.    

Terengganu team (L-R) Safirredzuan Salim, Raja Ahmad Firdaus Raja Mohd and Nik Muhammad Luqman Nik Omar react after won gold medal for 25m pistol men team category in Sarawak Shooting Range inconjuction of Sukma Sarawak 2016 at Kuching, Sarawak. FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.
Pistol duelling has evolved into what we know now as rapid fire pistol event.
  • Pistol duelling

Twelve years later, at the Stockholm Games in 1912, there was also plenty of shooting but happily, less blood. The duelling competition wasn’t to the death with pistols at dawn; rather, shooters would fire at dummies 30 metres away dressed in frock coats, with a target placed at the throat. America’s Al Lane, aged only 20, took gold, ahead of Sweden’s Paul Palen and Hubner von Holst. The event later morphed into the men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol, a category which endures to this day.      

  • Club swinging

The forerunner of rhythmic gymnastics was a medal sport in 1904 at St Louis and in Los Angeles in 1932. America’s George Roth won the gold in 1932 when the Games were held in the midst of the Great Depression. Reports claimed that unemployed Roth was awarded his gold medal and then hitch-hiked home.  

Visitors and Sungai Rasau villagers alike have fun with a tug-of-war contest on the village padang during the Orang Asli carnival organised by MPSJ together with the state and federal Orang Asli Affiars Departments, as well as Tourism Selangor.
Remember your school sports day? Tug of war featured five time in the Olympics from 1900 to 1920.
  • Tug of war

So beloved of school sports days, the sport was once part of the track and field programme and featured in the five Olympic Games from 1900 to 1920. The 1908 gold was won by a team of British policemen, but it was a controversial victory as the United States protested over their rivals’ footwear. A report at the time said the police team competed “in enormous shoes, so heavy, in fact, it was with great effort they could lift their feet from the ground”.      

India's Umesh Yadav connects for a hit off West Indies bowler Kraigg Brathwaite as wicket keeper Shane Dowrich and Rajendra Chandrika play close to the wickets on day three of their Second Test cricket match on August 1, 2016 at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. / AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN
Cricket, like live pigeon shooting, only featured at the 1900 Olympics in Paris.
  • Cricket

Golf and rugby will both make long-awaited returns to the Olympics in Rio, but there’s no sign of another appearance by cricket, which was played just once at Paris 1900, with limited success. The gold medal was contested by Britain and France after Belgium and Holland pulled out. The British side was a touring team, the Devon and Somerset Wanderers, while the French side was made up of expatriate Britons living in Paris. Britain won the match, staged at the Velodrome de Vincennes, while the host nation was sniffily written off. “The French temperament is too excitable to enjoy the game and no Frenchman can be persuaded to play more than once,” scoffed a newspaper report at the time. — AFP

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