Thursday, August 9, 2012

Demonstration Sports

One of the coolest things about the Olympics is the way it puts fringe sports on the radar. Once every four years the world remembers that there are more than just three or four games that people play, and we get to enjoy the best of the best of those other sports. Of course some of the neatest are not even popular enough to make an appearance at the Olympics. For some of them one has to turn to the World Games or other international events, but sometimes you get the treat of new sports being tried at the Olympics as demonstration sports. Well, that hasn’t happened either for twenty years.

Some of the more interesting sports in the history of the Olympics have only ever been demonstration sports: Ballooning, Angling, Cannon Shooting and Fire Fighting were all at the 1900 games in Paris.

There are a lot of sports that are played by many people that aren’t included. Bowling was a demonstration sport in the 80s. Other popular games have never been tried like Racquetball or Squash. Dodgeball may have been outlawed in schools the world over, but it is one of the more popular games as well. A very new sport that might have been tried by nearly everybody but never in the Olympics is Ultimate or Ultimate Frisbee.

Finally though, some of the most fascinating Olympic events are those strange or unheard of sports that we have the chance to get to know. When I was a teen I had a chance to try Fistball and it is the sort of sport that more people should be able to enjoy.

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