Olympic Sport List

The governing body of the Olympic Games is the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They have been responsible for the games since they revived the Olympic Games with Summer Olympics at Athens in 1896. In 1924, the first Winter Olympics were held in France. Games were held in the same year through 1992 when the IOC began alternating the Summer and Winter Games every four years, but two years apart respectively.

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games were held in Beijing, China, and included 31 summer sports. The 2010 Winter Games will be held in Vancouver, Canada. The number and type of games on the Olympic Sport List varies slightly in different years. Occasionally games are added and discontinued. The IOC also may allow demonstration sports, such as dog sled racing and gliding.

Briefly, the IOC’s role is to encourage and support ethics and fair play in sports, nurture and protect the sporting games and the participating athletes through education, drug testing, and to maintain the highest principles of sports organizations throughout the world. In addition, the IOC is the caretaker of non violent games, concern for the environment, and the protector of the Games themselves from political disruption and corruption. They determine any current Olympic Sport List. They are the final decision makers in the event of any dispute. They also select the host cities, and work to ensure the peaceful continuance of the Olympic Games.

2008 summer games included:

Archery

Athletics

Badminton

Baseball (only 1 event)

Basketball

Boxing

Canoeing/Kayak

Cycling (BMX, Mountain, Road, Track)

Diving

Equestrian

Fencing

Field hockey

Football (soccer)

Gymnastics

Handball

Judo

Modern Pentathlon

Rowing

Sailing

Shooting

Softball (only 1 event)

Swimming

Synchronized swim

Table Tennis

Taekwondo

Tennis

Triathlon

Volleyball (Indoor and Beach)

Water Polo

Weightlifting

Wrestling

Additional summer sports recognized by the IOC:

Air sports

Bandy

Billiards

Boules

Bowling

Bridge

Chess

Cricket

Dance Sport

Golf

Karate

Korfball

Life Saving

Motorcycle Racing

Mountaineering and Climbing

Netball

Orienteering

Pelota basque

Polo

Power boating

Racquetball

Roller Sports

Rugby

Squash

Sport climbing

Surfing

Sumo

Tug of War

Underwater Sports

Water Skiing

Wushu

These are now discontinued summer sports:

Baseball

Cricket

Croquet

Figure Skating

Golf

Ice Hockey

Jeu de paume

Lacrosse

Pelota basque

Polo

Power boating

Rackets

Roque

Rugby union

Softball

Tug of War

Water Skiing

Sports scheduled for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games include:

Biathlon (and Paralympic Biathlon)

Bobsleigh (and Skeleton)

Curling (and Wheelchair Curling)

Ice Hockey (and Ice Sledge Hockey)

Luge

Skating (Figure, Speed, Short Track Speed)

Skiing (Alpine, Cross Country, Freestyle, Nordic, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding)

The Olympic Sport List is flexible and changes with the current times and trends. Sports must meet specific requirements to be included. Sports for men and women must be played, respectively, in 75 and 50 countries, on four continents, to be included. The Olympic Games are important as an economic resource as well as global peacemaker. Like the original games, warring countries suspend their conflicts to participate in peaceful competition, reminding the world that yes, we can all get along and have friendly athletic competition.

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