The 10 Most Ridiculous REAL Olympic Sports

The Olympics are fast approaching, and while most people can’t wait to watch the Women’s 100m or see how Michael Phelps does in his 7 events, I’m more excited to see some of the lesser known Olympic sports. Not to see who wins or anything, but just for personal amusement at how bizarre the events are. You might be surprised at exactly how many weird sports are going on for London 2012.

Did you know there are 4 different types of cycling people can compete in? How about Judo and Taekwondo (Where’s Kung Fu, Olympic committee?!)? Take a look at our top 10 most ridiculous Olympic Sports…

[Swimming photo via testing /Shutterstock]

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  1. Amanda says:

    Synchronized swimming is literally one of the hardest sports there is. It takes insane flexibility, endurance, athleticism and dedication. Its been proven that those athletes put in the most training hours out of all the athletes. They swim around 8-10 hours a day, on top of flexibility training, weight lifting, cardio training and other aspects of the sport. Its not "splashing around to music," and its thoughts like that that make it so hard for the sport to grow and be taken seriously. If you have ever watched it you would see that they are throwing girls in the air, as much as 20 feet, without touching the bottom of the pool, while the girls in the air are doing complicated gymnastics. Backflips, layouts and twists are commonplace. As for the other sports mentioned, they are no joke either.

    1. Ellen - University of Manchester says:

      I'm not denying in any way that the sport is difficult, I'm sure I couldn't do it! I'm just saying it looks a little funny. All of these sports are in the Olympics, so at the end of the day yes, they are sports and they're taken reasonably seriously.

  2. caroline says:

    My friend trains for pentathlons. I was told that it was essentially what a calvary officer had to be able to do.

    1. Ellen - University of Manchester says:

      It's actually kind of cool! I'm so intrigued how people get in to it though, they must be so multi-talented

  3. Jess says:

    You seem to have an uterlly and tragically closed-minded view of what sports and atheletics are, seemingly due to the fact that you yourself would feel silly trying to perform well in any of these sports. I am sincerely sorry that you cannot appreciate things outside of your "comfort zone".

    1. Ellen - University of Manchester says:

      I think you might want to re-read the article. I haven't stated at any point that they aren't 'real' sports, or that they're easy. I definitely couldn't do well in any of these sports. This is a light-hearted article about the olympic sports that seem funnier/more unusual than others, not a criticism of anyone who does these sports!

    2. Jess says:

      The title is "The 10 Most Ridiculous REAL Olympic Sports". Simple comprehension of the connotations and implications in the language of the article, there is absolutely a belittling of the sports described above. "People splashing around to music" – belittling. "Least useful sport" – closed-minded view of what sports and atheletics are. I'm not even saying this because I do any of these sports. I am a rower and a runner. Since when does that mean their "real-life" applications make them any less ridiculous?

  4. SmokyApple says:

    What I like about this article is that it has stimulated discussion…. playing devil's advocate to get people thinking and 'talking'. What I dislike about one or two responses so far is the personal tone taken by the respondents. This is where you need to show a level of intellectual sophistication and see articles like this for what they are…entertainment and a 'conversation' starter. Some of you are killing the messenger rather than debating the message !! And yes…all sports that people enjoy and at which some excel are worthy of respect – but not all of them are worthy of inclusion in the Olympics !

    1. anon says:

      Not sure if the point was to stimulate discussion. I think it was to provide something that was supposed to be entertaining to read..

    2. SmokyApple says:

      Agreed….entertainment – a conversation starter – call it what you will, but it has started a discussion !!

  5. Ellen - University of Manchester says:

    I said that they look silly, not they are actually silly or in any way not real sports. Again, have not claimed at any point that these sports are easy or that I could do them. This is a light-hearted article, I'm sure any Olympian that does these sports wouldn't be horrifically offended by this post so this comment seems a little extreme.

  6. Abby says:

    Excluding the first two the rest seems to be far more sporty than silly. If they still do that ribbon "sport" then that would classify as a silly sport, waving a ribbon around in a leotard!

  7. Laura says:

    "people are just hitting balls around with their hands" – like basketball?

  8. Tori says:

    Perhaps this would have been more entertaining if it had been Olympic sport from the past, those sports that once were in the Olympics but have been taken out. At one point, Acting was an Olympic game. THAT'S ridiculous. Your intention may not have been to call into question the legitimacy of the sports, but you yourself suggested that archery was too "old school" to be included in the catalog of games.

  9. Kelis says:

    I don't really see why people are getting so strung up about a girl, who is obviously not really into sports, stating that she can't see the point of watching them. I can't see the point of watching make-up tutorials on YouTube. I can't see the point of Justin Bieber. I really like comic books. But I don't get all pissy about people who think adults reading comics are ridiculous, or that people who prefer old-school music over new pop sensations. And…oh wait, this is the internet…never mind. Don't worry Ellen – just because you have a silly name, doesn't mean your opinions are silly. Although in my opinion they are. And I am okay with that.

  10. mary says:

    synchronized swimming IS the hardest sport in the world!!!! you have to be flexible, extremely strong, VERY determined, and you have to be able to act like your happy while your swimming even though its the most painful thing in the world!!!

    1. chris says:

      This list is stupid. I'm sitting here watching some chick dancing with a ball and that's not mentioned here. Everything on this list can be classified as sports. I have my doubts about synchro swimming but I can see how extremely difficult it is, but honestly…dancing with a frickin ball???

  11. Anon says:

    I only came on the Internet to find ‘ridiculous sports in Olympics’ for an app game I’m playing and found this discussion. Love it! Still not got my answers though – apart from ‘Curling’….

  12. That's probably the best olympic sports so far that I have known. that things are of course doing well.

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