The Forgotten Olympic Events | Strangest Moments

The Forgotten Olympic Events | Strangest Moments

The events that make up
the modern Olympic Games are largely familiar to
even the most casual of viewers. Every two years, sports fans all
over the world suddenly become experts on the likes of dressage,
synchronised swimming and skeleton. It’s the beauty
of the Olympic Games – minority sports get
their day in the spotlight, and the world pays attention. But the process required to settle
on the current line-up of events was not straightforward. Back in the early days of the
modern Olympics, experimentation was crucial to help identify
the perfect combination of events. And experiment they did. It’s fair to say
they weren’t all winners. In 1896, there was a 100m
freestyle swimming event. Nothing strange
about that. Except that
it was only open to members of the Greek Navy. Only three competitors entered – all
Greek, and all sailors, obviously. The winning time was
nearly a minute slower than the winner of the 100m freestyle
for non-Greek Sailors. Ioannis Malokis won it in the time of
2 minutes 20 seconds. That’s 28 seconds slower than Eric the Eel managed
at the Sydney Games 104 years later, making him a prime candidate
for the title of Slowest Olympic Champion Ever. Still, a win’s a win,
and his mum was very proud. But the 100m Greek
Sailor’s Freestyle was just the beginning. In 1900, things got weird. Seriously weird. A selection of demonstration events
were given the opportunity to make their case for inclusion
in the Olympic Games proper. Some of the highlights included cannon shooting… ..and firefighting. The 1900 games also included Olympic Games staples
high jump and long jump. For horses. The inaugural equine long jump champ
was called Extra Dry. Its winning distance was 6.10m. That wouldn’t even be close to
a medal at the Youth Olympic Games. Must try harder. Cricket also made
an appearance in 1900. Unsurprisingly,
it was won by the British, who beat a French team largely
made up of Englishmen who worked at the British Embassy in Paris. The event did not return. One event which did
establish itself in the early years
was tug-of-war. Between 1900 and 1920, it was a major attraction
at the Olympic Games, drawing competitors from Belgium, South Africa, Denmark
and Sweden, to name but a few. It was dominated by the British trio of Frederick Humphreys, Edwin Mills and John James Shepherd,
who each won two golds and a silver between 1908 and 1920. All three were City of London
policemen, so it’s fair to say that Edwardian Britain wasn’t
the best time to be a criminal. But alas, like so many of
the weird and wonderful events of the early years,
tug-of-war was discontinued. It’s easy to forget that the
Olympic Games haven’t always been a fixture in the sporting calendar and it’s easy to laugh at
some of the ludicrous events that were once a part of the Games, but we salute the brave trailblazers
who were there from the very start. Without them,
the Olympic Games would not be what we all know and love today.

59 Replies to “The Forgotten Olympic Events | Strangest Moments”

  1. I thought that khorkhinas vault at Sydney will be shown. Because it was a crime. The vault was set low for the tall gymnast like Svetlana

  2. With all these strange moment videos, how have you not covered the st Louis marathon? That's hands down the strangest most insane, messed up occurrence to ever take place in connection with the Olympics

  3. need Battle Royal : whenever leaders want a war we put them all in a ring . last one standing wins…twice a week for life, home delivered favorite dinner….and will throw in a bottle of his or hers favorite beverage . no more wars .

  4. how about christian and muslim fundamentalists versus the lions ? sort of an ancient Roman Coliseum theme . just sayin….

  5. They should ad a carring competition, where they have a bunch of weights to carry on their arms from point A to point B. Like unloading a car

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