Thursday, April 06, 2017

Thursday Thirteen

On April 6, 1896, the first modern Olympics took place in Athens.

Here's a look at some sporting events that are no longer used in the competition:

1. Distance Plunging - Seen only in 1904, this Olympic sport required athletes to dive into the pool and coast underwater without moving their limbs. After 60 seconds, referees measured the distance the athletes had drifted.

2. Live Pigeon Shooting - Used in the 1900 games in Parish, this sport meant gun enthusiasts took aim at live moving targets. According to reports, more than 300 birds were killed at the event. After that, Olympic officials skipped lived targets.

3. Deer Cardboard Cut-Out shooting - Following the dead bird debacle in 1900, the Olympics in London in 1908 featured "running deer" as targets. However, the targets were cardboard cut-outs, not live animals.

4. Tug-of-War - This game appeared at the 1900 Olympics in Paris and remained on the roster through the 1920 games in Antwerp. An eight-man team had to pull the opposition team six feet in order to win. If neither team failed to do that, the team that pulled the other the longest distance won. The British team, which generally used London City police officers, excelled at the event.

5. Rope Climbing - This game was in the first modern Olympics in 1896. Climbers raced to th etop of the rope. This game remained on the roster until 1932.

6. Solo Synchronized Swimming - This game women debuted at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and remained on the roster through the 1992 event, even though it is hard to synchronize with one's self. After 1992 the event became a team sport for women. Men have never participated in any form of synchronized swimming in the Olympics.

7. Croquet - This sport made a one-time appearance in Paris in 1900. It is thought to be the first Olympic sport in which women participated. Only French competitors signed up for the event, and only one spectator purchased a ticket to watch the game.

8. Rogue - A cousin to croquet, this sport made the Olympic roster in 1904 in St. Louis. Only Americans played this time, and the game did not make another appearance.

9. Dueling - Pistol dueling put in an appearance in the 1906 Intercalated Games in Athens. The event consisted of shooters aiming at plaster dummies instead of real people. The event only took place once.

10. Horse Long Jump - Using a horse to make a long jump took place at the Paris games of 1900. The winning leap was 6.10 meters, compared to the human leap of 8.95 meters. The game never returned. Another horse-related event, equestrian vaulting, took place in the 1920 games in Antwerp. In this sport, riders performed pirouettes, handstands and other acrobatic feats on top of a horse's back.

11. Singlestick - In this game, competitors attempted to hit one another with a club was held in one hand. The game was played in 1904 at the Summer Olympics in St. Louis.

12. Dog Sled Racing - The Olympics tested dog sled racing during the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The event took riders over a 25.1 mile course that traversed country roads and horse paths. The event was considered a demonstration.

13. Firefighting - This event took place at the 1900 Paris Olympics in both professional and volunteer classes. The professional event was won by Kansas City Engine and Hook and Ladder Company #1. Portugal won the volunteer class.


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 494th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. This is hysterical and fully fills the 'what were they THINKING" list. Solo synchronized swimming. I simply cannot picture that and it sounds almost as strange to watch as group synchronized swimming, which gives me the hiccups. #11 has my vote as the strangest...

  2. Really interesting. I think if I had to pick one of these to try, I'd go for distance plunging. I might be good at it.

  3. Very interesting 13. And, I am glad they are all extinct. The horse long jump especially. How silly was that?

  4. I can't believe fire fighting was an olympic event! My sister could medal in that!


  5. These are hilarious. The only one that seems normal is dog sled racing. I see some future SNL sketches in the rest.

  6. Clearly, I am not a vegetarian...because I would consider that one when pigeons were plentiful and then serve a meal to the poor. I do cringe at some of the gruesome sights that could occur during pigeon shooting though.

  7. I think the dog sledding should become an Olympic event. All of these, (except for the live pigeon shooting would be fun to try!


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