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Past Olympic Sports Past Olympic Sports


Tug-of-war was on the Olympic programme in 1900, 1904, 1906 (Intercalated Games), 1908, 1912 and 1920. Tug-of-war was always contested as a part of the track and field athletics programme, although it is now considered a separate sport. The Olympic champions were as follows: 1900: a combined Swedish/Danish team; 1904: an American club team representing the Milwaukee Athletic Club; 1906: Germany/Switzerland; 1908: a British team from the City of London Police Club; 1912: Sweden; and 1920: Great Britain.


Golf has been on the Olympic programme twice, in 1900 and 1904. There were two golf events in 1900 - one for gentlemen and one for ladies. Golf is one of the world's most popular sports, being played in well over 100 nations world-wide. Golf also has a long history, as it origins can be traced back several centuries, and it has had organised international competitions since the mid-19th century. In the last decade golf has made entreaties to be returned to the Olympic programme.


Rugby football is one of the earliest forms of football in which the ball is carried rather than kicked. It developed in Great Britain in the mid-19th century. Originally, rugby league was considered the professional sport and rugby union the amateur one, but in 1995 the International Rugby Board made rugby union an open sport, allowing professional competition. Rugby union football was held at the Olympics in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924.


Polo is considered the oldest mounted team sport, with a history reaching back centuries, when it was played in the plains of Asia, ancient Persia, China and India. Polo was on the Olympic programme in 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924 and 1936.


Lacrosse was contested as a full medal sport at the 1904 and 1908 Olympics. In 1904, two Canadian teams challenged a local team from St. Louis, with the Shamrock Lacrosse Team of Winnipeg winning the gold medal. Lacrosse was also a demonstration sport at the Olympics in 1928, 1932 and 1948.

List of past Olympic sports

Jeu de paume

Pelote basque
Power boating

Tug of war
Water skiing