Weirdest Olympic Sports

From race walking to kabbadi, check out some of the weirdest sports ever to be featured in the Olympic Games.

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MUSCAT, OMAN - DECEMBER 15: Mostafa Noudehi of Iran yells as he competes in the mens semi final match between India and Iran during Beach Kabaddi event at North Al Hail during day eight of the 2nd Asian Beach Games Muscat 2010 on December 15, 2010 in Muscat, Oman. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mostafa Noudehi
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Over the years, the Olympics have changed many times. Here are some of the weirdest events to be included in the games, such as the tug of war event during the 1908 London Games.
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RACE WALKING: Full of hip movement and arm swinging, race walking is a long time staple in the Athletics portion of the Olympic Games. The rules are simple: walk as fast as you can but one foot must always remain on the ground. Olga Kaniskina of Russia, pictured here, walks to win the gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.
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SOLO SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: Just like it sounds, solo synchronized swimming consists of one swimmer performing in the pool. Even the name is odd since you can't be synchronized with yourself. This photo shows an athlete competing in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
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LIVE PIGEON SHOOTING: The 1900 Olympics in Paris featured many unusual events, one of them being live pigeon shooting. The only time that live animals were used, live pigeon shooting disappeared after the Paris games. This photo shows Ahmed Almaktoum competing in the 2004 Athens Games, shooting clay pigeons and disks, not live ones.
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KABADDI: A cross between football and capture the flag, Kabaddi was featured in the 1936 Berlin Games. Each team must cross over to the other side, tackle an opponent, and run back while holding their breath. Although not now an Olympic event, it is still popular in many countries. This photo shows athletes in the 2nd Asian Beach Games in 2010.
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ROQUE: A popular American game, roque is very similar to croquet but played on a hard, smooth surface. It made its debut in the 1904 St. Louis games and all three medals went to Americans. This was due to the fact that no other country besides the United States bothered to submit athletes for the event.
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WATERSKIING: Once an Olympic event during the tragic 1972 Munich Games, water skiing consisted of three events: slalom, figure skiing and jumping. The competition never made a reappearance. Pictured here, two athletes compete as they speed across Lake Eliose in Florida.
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SAVATE: Another product of the 1924 Paris games, savate is a form of kickboxing that only allows blows by the feet. This photo circa 1900 shows two men training.
ROLLER HOCKEY: Just like ice hockey, but on roller skates, roller hockey was featured in the 1992 Barcelona Games. Although it hasn't appeared since then, it is still widely played in 60 countries. Here, the French and U.S. national teams compete during a semi-final match at the 59th Roller Hockey Nations Cup in 2001.
ROPE CLIMBING: First introduced in the first modern Olympics in the 1896 Athens games, rope climbing was featured in four other games since then. Only allowed to use their hands and arms, athletes had to climb a vertical rope as fast as they can. In 1896, only two competitors were able to climb to the top.
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JEU DE PAUME: Before there was tennis, there was jeu de paume. Instead of using racquets, players used their hands to knock the ball over the net. Jeu de paume or "game of palms" was featured in the 1908 London games.
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DUELING PISTOLS: Although the name sounds like two men aiming pistols at each other, they actually aimed at mannequins. The dueling pistols event was featured in the 1912 Stockholm games and the goal was to shoot a mannequin dressed in frock clothing, its throat being the bull's-eye.
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MOTOR BOATING: After being a demonstration sport in the 1900 Olympics, motor boating made it's debut in the 1908 London games. Contestants had to circle a course five times in the water, which made it hard for spectators to view the action. It was dropped from the games due to its lack of athleticism.
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LONG JUMP FOR HORSES: The 1900 Paris games featured the long jump but not for people only. Horses took part with their human counterparts. The event was promptly removed after the Paris games.
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