5 Unlikely Sports for the Olympics

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 by Anna Scott
You may think you know everything about standard Olympic sports, but today brought news that English Heritage are starting a campaign to get jousting featured in future Olympics from Tokyo 2020 onwards. Yes, you read that correctly and yes, they are deadly serious. According to English Heritage, jousting requires a high degree of athleticism, agility and equestrianism, making it an ideal Olympic sport. And when you delve a bit deeper, this campaign might have traction…

Knights on horseback taking part in a medieval jousting tournamentThe Olympics have encouraged new sports to enter the fray in recent years, with beach volleyball being introduced in 1996, and golf and rugby sevens due to make their debuts in Rio. In fact, sports already under consideration for Tokyo include skateboarding, climbing and surfing. But does jousting really stand a chance? In spite of its undeniable athletic qualities and the horsemanship required, its historical bent doesn’t seem to quite fit in with the more contemporary sports under consideration.

Or perhaps this could be the beginning of some slightly more unusual sports being included in future Olympic games…

Tug of War

Tug of WarFun fact: this actually used to an Olympic sport. It was dropped in 1920, but we can totally see it fitting in in future events for both men and women. What better example is there of strength and teamwork? There probably won’t be room on the Team GB for any of the typical competitors though, and by typical competitors we mean dads at school fetes.

Pooh Sticks

This one is less about strength and more about skill and precision. But where would it be held? A specially designed course would take some of the magic out of the occasion. Could they build a bridge over the water course once the canoeists have finished with it? And what about the stick? The whole point of pooh sticks is that you have to choose the right one to beat your opponent with (not literally), not have the same type of stick to begin with. Oh well, perhaps this one is best left to days out playing by the river rather than anywhere near a medal podium. Shame, because I suspect us Brits are much better at it than anyone else…

Club Swinging

Another old Olympic sport that debuted back in 1904. It appears to have consisted of just swinging around a club in each hand that roughly resembled a modern day bowling pin. So far, so ‘weird historical sport’. But although it sounds closer to shot put or perhaps the javelin than anything else, club swinging is actually viewed as precursor to rhythmic gymnastics. Albeit, a slightly less graceful version.

Caber Tossing

Caber TossingWe really should look to the Highland Games for inspiration a bit more often. In fact, I think the organisers of London 2012 missed a trick here because there are plenty of sports that we excel at north of the border. The Caber Toss is probably the most famous event, with competitors running forward to try and get the heavy pine log to fall larger end first after it’s been tossed. Can you imagine such a spectacle taking place in a grand Olympic stadium? I certainly can. I mean, we already have the hammer throw in some modern day track and field events, so we’re half way there already.


Ok, so it’s not really a sporting event. BUT, it does require the use of muscles. Facial muscles, that is. And let’s face it, it would be a thousand times more entertaining than some of the other sports currently included.


Although it’s highly unlikely these sports are going to be included in the Olympic Games any time soon (and yes, I’m including jousting in that group), this shouldn’t dictate whether us every day folk can enjoy them or not. To help in your own personal sporting quests, we’ve got Sweatband discount codes for a wide choice of sports accessories, as well as American Golf promo codes for those who enjoy one of the Olympics latest additions. Or perhaps, if you’d like to partake in the sport that has become one of the UK’s most successful Olympic events, our Pro Bike Kit promotional codes can save you money on a wide selection of cycling accessories.

So whether English Heritage are successful in their Olympic aims or not (we suspect not), let’s hope it doesn’t dampen the spirits for any of the more unusual or historical sports out there…







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