Olympic Sports That Have Faded Away.
I have been watching the the 2016 Summer Olympics. I have enjoyed them immensely , but eventually at some point my honey and I start to discuss events or rules. Then , because I am me, I have to look it up. Its a weird little exercise. We were enjoying watching the sport before the discussion and enjoyed them after. I am not sure the rules matter to anyone but the officials and the athletes,but I looked it up anyway . In the process I discovered a whole bunch of sports that are no longer played in the Olympics for one reason or another. Some of them just seem silly and some, well, I guess you had to be there.
This event had four legs. Riders jumping over a horse from a standing position was the first leg. The second leg was to jump over the horses. The third was to jump over one or more horse with a flip or a roll (called a Salto). Lastly one must ride with a waking horse. Sound exciting doesn’t it? Belgium, France and Sweden were the only nations to participate and their athletes were all army officers. Belgium won the gold and the bronze while France took the silver. The year was 1920. (Note:There are people still doing this event but we mostly see it in circus acts.)
RUNNING DEER SHOOTING:
Basically you shot at a deer shaped target that moved (or “ran”) in ten 75-feet runs. The target with had concentric circles and where you hit the “deer” determined your points. Sweden was the all around champs taking Gold in the event for its run with only American Walter Winans taking one gold. The years were 1908 -1948
DUELLING PISTOLS SHOOTING:
So who wants to enter this event? It was not an actual duel, but the “athletes” shot at a dummy (wood) dressed in a frock. The bulls eye was on the chest. In the 25 m. event the shooters would hold their pistol at their side, loaded and cocked. The range officer asked if they were ready. When they said, “Yes,”the would officer then counted out, “Fire, one, two, three.”, giving the commands at a rapid pace. the shooter had to shoot before the officer hit three. The 20 m event was easier with no time limit to shoot and the targets were larger. Konstantinos Skarlatos of Greece took gold for the 25 m event and Léon Moreaux of france took the gold in the 20 event. The year was 1906.
PLUNGE FOR DISTANCE:
The event required swimmers to dive into a pool. Then without moving your body in any way, you floated for one minute or until your head came to the surface. The officials would mark the spot and measure. Whoever went the furthest was the winner. I am sure when I was a kid I am sure I went a thousand feet playing this game. American William Dickey went 62 feet 6 inches to win the gold. The year was 1904.
STANDING HIGH JUMP:
Much like the high jump ( which we see today), the standing high jump was a contest to see who jumped the highest. In the standing high jump, however, the contestant must stand with their feet together. NO run ups. Personally would like to see this one come back .The Gold medal award went to American Ray Ewry who set the world record for the standing high jump of 1.65 m. ( 5 foot 41 inches). the years were 1900, 1904, 1906, 1908 and 1912.