It’s been an exciting run for the modern Olympic games. Since 1896, athletes a world apart have convened in different cites across planet Earth to prove how quickly and forcibly their muscles can react. It’s an occasion for each country and their constituents to show the skills they possess and the games said skills are applicable to. Yet the Olympics known today and the competition expected in London later this summer do not completely represent the games of past years. Events like tug-of-war, dueling pistols, and horse long jump have made their way in and then out of the competition. Below is a list of three former Olympic games, and their un-popular alternatives that didn’t make the cut.
As made famous by the 1904 games, Distance Plunging is grueling task that requires the ability to jump and then remain motionless for a prolonged period of time. Distance plungers would prepare themselves at the edge of a body of water before diving as deep as they could muster. Then in a moment of supreme athleticism, the plunger would wait completely still until they floated to the surface. The last plunger to surface was declared victor.
Pasta Drop: Participants drop a handful of Capellini into a small pond, the last noodle to sink to the bottom marks the winner.
Downhill Pumpkin Roll: Olympians close their eyes and roll undersized pumpkins down a slight incline. This sport is judged by a panel who uses a 1-10 scale for technique.
Live Pigeon Shooting
Bringing in throngs of spectators since the 1896 Olympics, is the live pigeon shooting event. While some marksmen and marksmen-enthusiasts might be familiar with the clay pigeons commonly used in rifle-sport, the idea for those flying discs came from the a much livelier and avian counterpart. In the 1900 Olympics in Paris, an executive decision was made to spice things up and use actual birds. A participant armed with a rifle would take aim as a flock of pigeons was released. More than 300 birds were killed during this exciting event.
Trap shooting: Bear-traps are tossed into the air and assaulted with rifle-fire. Points are awarded for contact with the trap. Any damage to the claw mechanism results in disqualification as the traps are reused for the “Human Survivor Challenge.”
Spear fishing: Able-bodied men boarded a raft with fishing poles and attempted to ensnare and reel in tribal spears without using Spear Bait. This game was cancelled in 1940 as most couldn’t complete the task and due to prolonged rafting, would perish from scurvy.
Solo Synchronized Swimming
Introduced in the 1984 Los Angeles games, solo synchronized swimming bewildered all who watched–and all who participated. Swim dancers would orchestrate solo routines to be performed in sync with music while partially submerged in water. Nearby lifeguards often mistook the performers for drowning children thrashing in the water and frequently disrupted the performances to deliver mouth-to-mouth. Based on the confusing nomenclature, the judges assumed the water ballerinas were synchronized with other dancers they simply could not see. In 1985, reported ghost sightings in LA doubled.
Marathon of One: In keeping with the origin of the Marathon, participants run the 26.2 mile event alone while over 3,000 spectators eagerly watch each step and foible.
One v. One Football: Two singular competitors stand off in a game of American football. Touchdowns can only be scored by passing the elongated ball to another player. Most games end in ties.