Tug Of War And 11 Other Long Gone Olympics Sports

WTF is 'Jeu De Paume' anyway?
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WTF is 'Jeu De Paume' anyway?


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You may think of Baseball as just another America centric sport, but the last gold medal in the event at the Olympics was won by South Korea. Officially became part of the Games in 1992, it has appeared at the last five Olympics until London 2012. Ditched by the IOC in 2009, the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) are busy planning a comeback for 2020.


Softball was pushed out of the Olympics along with Baseball three years ago, seeing both the male and female versions of the sport disappear from the Games. The International Softball Federation are working with IBAF on a potential return for both sports, that were bumped from Olympic competition because of a lack of worldwide participation.

Tug of War

Wonderfully, the Tug of War was an Olympic event at every Games from 1900 to 1920. A male-only contest, everyone's favourite comical team game was dominated by Great Britain and the United States. Could be better than the Dressage.

Basque Pelota
The bizarre game of Basque Pelota was contested as an official Olympic competition just once, in 1900 to mysterious circumstances. Only France and Spain entered, and despite the date of the match being recorded as 14 June, the result is unknown. It's doubtful many are clamouring for the sport's Olympic return.

The Olympic Games hosted Lacrosse as an official sport in 1904 and 1908, and as a demonstrative event in 1928, 1932 and 1948. Basically Lacrosse's Olympic importance has been on a steady decline over the last 100 years. Interestingly, the last time the sport appeared at the Games at London '48, the United States were represented by a private research university in New York. Or that's not interesting, you decide.


Before Baseball and Softball received the Olympic bullet to the head in 2009, the last sport to fall through the Games trap-door was Polo. It's last appearance came at the awkward 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and just like the Nazis, Polo is unlikely to make a reappearance.


The only Olympic Cricket tournament ever to take place was on 19-20 August 1900, with Great Britain defeating their souther neighbours France in the final. Attempts were made to bring the Twenty20 version of the sport to the London Games, but the campaign was unsuccessful. A missed opportunity, perhaps.


The Gentleman's sport of Croquet was knocked out of Olympic competition after just one appearance in 1900. Highly unlikely to return, surely Bowls is closer on the list now.


Rackets shone in the Olympic glow on a sole occasion, in 1908, before moving into the sporting backwaters. Only British participants entered the competition in London, mainly because the rest of the world wasn't sure what it was.

Jeu de Paume

Commonly known as 'Real Tennis', Jeu de Paume was also only contested at the 1908 Olympics. Over one hundred years on, you'd find it tough to locate a venue to play the sport, let alone come close to watching it at the Games. If you're keen, it can be played at Hampton Court, but you're probably not.


The American variant of Croquet, Roquet didn't last long either, appearing at just the 1904 Olympics. The Yanks seemed to love it, labelling it 'the Game of the Century' at the beginning of the 20th Century. It's popularity did not last.

Water motorsports
Like many others, Water motorsports was featured at just one Olympics in 1908. Basically a 40 mile power boat race, huge gales meant that only one boat actually finished the five laps. Few have missed its presence at the Games since.

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