10 Sports That You Didn’t Know Were Part of the Olympic Games

Olympic Games have a centuries’ old history and a large number of sports that were or are now included in the Olympic program. Thus, sports like ski ballet (also known as acroski), bandy, lacrosse, polo, and even dueling with pistols once were a part of the Olympics.

Today, Olympic Games continue to include new sports to its program, choosing those recognized by the International Olympic Committee or Global Association of International Sports Federations. For example, breakdancing will debut as an Olympic sport in Paris in 2024. And maybe gambling games will be once a part of the Olympic Games in the near future, so you can start practicing at https://a2zcasinos.org/ now.

Below, you will find 10 examples of enjoyable sports included in the Olympic Games alongside ones that have the potential to become Olympic sports one day – such as surfing, match poker, BMX freestyle, table tennis, field hockey, and many more. Read on!


Rugby was included in the Olympics in 2016 and will be included in the Olympics till at least 2024. There are two rugby events in the Olympics: Rugby Sevens and Rugby 15s. Rugby Sevens is a shortened version of traditional rugby: seven players on each team, no contact except for tackles, and only seven-minute halves. Rugby 15s is also known as the union, and it is a team of 15 players. The Olympic Games also include sevens versions of other sports, such as hockey, basketball, and football.


Skateboarding joined the Olympics games in 2019 but was later put on hold in 2020 due to the lack of participants. However, skateboarding still has a chance to become an Olympic sport in 2021 with an upcoming team of trained skateboarders. It is unclear if skateboarding would compete as a sport or become one of the demonstration sports during the games. Nonetheless, skateboarding being an Olympic sport would be just fantastic.


Karate has been included in the Olympics since 1972 (except for 1984 and 1988). The rules of karate have been changed drastically throughout its time at the Olympics. Karate has a lot of types, the majority of which are not included in the list of Olympic games. For now, there are Kumite (kicking and punching), and Kata (combination of punching and kicking). Karate hasn’t been recognized as an Olympic Sport. Once it is included, this sport will have to be adequately regulated.


Softball was first included in the Olympics in 1996. And it continues to be a part of the Olympics until now. The original eight teams that competed in 1996 were the United States, Japan, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Puerto Rico. Since then, softball has been growing both in the number of countries participating as well as in popularity. Currently, more than ten countries participate in softball’s Olympic competitions.

Billiards & Snooker

Billiards and snooker are not exactly new sports in the Olympics as they were already part of the program since 1900. Billiards and snooker have been contested at the same place as for many other sports – the Olympic Village. Some consider these sports as a part of the cue sports family. Cue games have been facing difficulties joining the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, and it might take years before billiards and snooker are accepted.


Fencing was contested in the first modern Olympic Games where Italian fencer Giovanni Giorgio Trissino won it. Fencing has been a part of the Olympic program since 1896, but it almost did not make it to the next Olympic Games due to Russia deciding against including fencing in its program because it preferred to focus on more popular sports like gymnastics and athletics. However, after a successful campaign by French fencers, fencing was reinstated to the program for the 1900 Paris games. Fencing is one of the oldest Olympic sports and continues to be a part of it until now.

Synchronized Swimming

Synchronized swimming was first included in the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, California. It became an official Olympic sport in 1984 after being considered a demonstration sport at the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany, and the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, Canada. Synchronized swimming involves swimmers performing coordinated routines while using various techniques with their upper bodies, hips, legs, arms, and feet.

Equestrian Sports

Equestrian sports are included in the Olympics as one event – equestrian dressage (dressage). Dressage competition was added to the Olympic program at the 1912 Summer Olympics held in Stockholm, Sweden, after its acceptance by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the 1910 IOC Congress held in France. Afterward, dressage was included in every Olympic Games program except for the 1920 Summer Olympics held in Antwerp, Belgium. Equestrian sports still remain one of the most popular events among fans at the Olympics today.


Canoeing was first contested at the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, Germany where canoeists competed on three different types of courses: 500 meter sprint course (500 m), 1,000 meter sprint course (1000 m) and 10 kilometer marathon course (10 km). At the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China canoeing expanded its program by adding slalom racing which was contested on 200 meter short course (200 m) and 500 meter short course (500 m). There are four events that comprise canoeing’s Olympic program: kayak singles (K1), kayak doubles (K2), canoe double (C2), and slalom (C1).


Judo was first contested at the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan. It became an official Olympic sport in 1964. Afterward, judo has always been a part of the Olympic program. There are two styles of sport: judo and judo-newaza. In judo, athletes compete on their feet. In judo-newaza, athletes compete on the ground. Both styles are similar though they use different techniques to bring an opponent to the ground.


The number of sports in the Olympics is slowly growing. There are regulations and changes that are constantly being accepted and implemented. In order for a particular sport to be accepted to the Olympics, it needs to go through a long process of recognition by various sports associations and committees. Every kind of sport has its specifications and criteria which need to be strictly followed. There are also some sports that are no longer present in the Olympic Games, partly because of lack of participants.