Breakdancing has been proposed for inclusion in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The International Olympic Committee is set to consider the proposal and must reach a decision by December 2020.
Sport climbing, skateboarding, surfing, karate and baseball/softball are, meanwhile, all set to feature at the Tokyo Games.
Here, Press Association Sport gives a brief introduction into some of the more unusual sports which have previously been on the Olympic programme.
Tug of war
The tug of war gold medal was contested at five consecutive Olympics from 1900 to 1920. It was originally open to teams rather than countries, which allowed nations to have multiple entrants. Thus the United States of America swept the board in 1904, while Great Britain did likewise at the 1908 London Games, with the City of London Police pipping their Liverpool Police counterparts to gold.
Ostensibly a high-powered, hand-driven form of squash, basque pelota was part of the official Olympic programme only once, in the 1900 Paris Games. Unsurprisingly, Spain won the gold medal, beating the only other entrant, France. Somewhat slow in reaching the conclusion that basque pelota may have limited international appeal beyond the Basque region, it was dropped from the official Olympic programme. It has, however, made three subsequent appearances as a demonstration event.
Underwater swimming was contested at the 1900 Paris Games. There were 14 competitors, and gold was claimed by Charles de Vendeville of France who achieved a distance of 60 metres. Denmark’s Peder Lykkeberg actually remained submerged for 30 seconds longer than the eventual winner, but only achieved 28.50m because he inadvertently swam in a circle, and had to be content with bronze. Possibly on safety grounds, underwater swimming did not appear on the programme again.
Three water motorsports events were contested at the 1908 London Games, and were, frankly, an unmitigated disaster. France won Class A after their only rivals, Great Britain, ran aground on a mud spit. In Class B, one of the two entrants promptly sank, and the British boat, itself semi-submerged, claimed gold. In Class C, one of the two entrants, ‘Sea Dog’, experienced engine failure and had to be towed off the course. Unsurprisingly, it was the last the Olympics saw of water motorsports.
Horse long jump
Part of the equestrian programme, the horse long jump made a first, and so far only appearance at the 1900 Olympics in Paris. Gold was won by Constant Octave van Langhendonck for Belgium, with his mount ‘Extra-Dry’ making a jump of 6.10m.
Live pigeon shooting
Live pigeon shooting was a part of the Olympic programme in 1900, although it is to be assumed the organisers quickly saw the error of their ways as the blood and feathers of more than 300 dead pigeons quickly accumulated on the shooting range. Competitors were eliminated once they missed two targets. The last man standing was Belgium’s Leon de Lunden, who killed 21, all in the name of Olympic sport.