Do you suffer from headaches, chills and acute sensitivity to the dulcet tones of Bob Costas? If so, you may have Olympic fever ... or possibly dementia.

In any case, this summer's games promise tons of exciting, and sometimes strange events. And synchronized swimming is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the most ridiculous contests in Olympic history.


Below is a gallery of some of the more bizarre events we could find, in hopes that some day a few will be reinstated. (We've already begun training for the pigeon shoot.)


Weirdest Olympic Events

    Live pigeon shooting (1900) At the 1900 Paris Games, over 300 pigeons were slaughtered in an orgy of blood and feathers. Though it's dispute as to whether the event was sanctioned by the Olympic council, there's no disputing that Parisian sidewalks were cleaner for a brief period at the turn of the century.

    Franziska Edwards, PETA / AP

    Rope climb (1896, 1904, 1906, 1924, 1932) Rudimentary gym skills were all it took to win Olympic gold in the early 20th century, as this event basically consisted of shimmying up a rope. (Though without an insane gym teacher barking orders at you.)

    Peter Stackpole, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

    Pistol Dueling (1906) No, it wasn't a recreation of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Instead, contestants would fire at mannequins dressed in frock coats and bull's-eyes. We imagine contestants got into the right mindset by imagining the mannequins said something most foul about their dear sainted mothers.

    Carl de Souza, AFP / Getty Images

    Solo Synchronized Swimming (1992) As we've mentioned, we find synchronized swimming odd. But at least we get the principle that at least two swimmers are needed to be in sync. The idea behind this inane event was for the swimmer to be in sync with music (i.e. dancing alone in the water). Great.

    Timothy A. Clary, AFP / Getty Images

    Club Swinging (1904, 1932) This consisted of swinging a club festooned with ribbons around your body and head. Even worse, it was once called "Indian Club Swinging," which makes it both boring and racist.

    fencer.wordpress.com

    Tug-of-War (1900-1920) Yes, once upon a time, the game enjoyed by schoolchildren and corporate retreat-goers everywhere was actually considered an Olympic event. We hear competitive tug-of-war gave way to two other short lived events, 40 meter three-legged race and synchronized trust falls.

    Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

    All-around dumbbell contest (1904) There's nothing wrong with weightlifting competitions, per se. But no doubt if you won the curling champs would snicker when you walked by, twirling their old-timey mustaches. "There goes the all-around dumbbell champ!," they'd all say. "What a prat he is! Let's give him a good flogging and then take in a moving picture show."

    London Stereoscopic Company / Getty Images

    Motor Boating (1908) This one-time boat race was a disaster. The average speeds hit a pitiful 19 mph, the action was so far of the coast that no one could see it, and the rainy weather made it a total wash-out. And to add insult to injury, the name henceforth inspired snickering from schoolboys the world over.

    Peter Stackpole, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

    Running Deer Single Shot (1906-1936) While not as inhumane as the pigeon shoot (contestants fired at moving paper targets), it's also about as exciting as watching your buddy play Big Buck Hunter on a slow bar night.

    IOC Olympic Museum / Allsport / Getty Images

    Long Jump For Horses Not to knock equestrians, but shouldn't the horses be getting the medal? After all, they're the ones performing the long jump. But yet you never see the horses standing up on the winner's podium or beaming proudly from the Wheaties box.

    Allsport / Hulton Archive / Getty Images



Beach volleyball coverage has always been a bit titillating, but with the Olympics are just around the corner some news outlets are using them as an excuse to dress up old-fashioned T&A in a flimsy frock of supposed sports coverage.

Case in point: NBCOlympics.com's feature on the hand signals of beach volleyball. Despite being titled "Cracking the Code," the article offers no actual information on the meanings of the various beach volleyball signals.

We felt at liberty to collect some of the most egregious examples of beach volleyball smut in one gallery, without even attempting to relate it to anything newsworthy. This way you can enjoy your gratuitous semi-nudity the honest way.

Most Egregious Beach Volleyball Photography

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    Beach Volleyball Photos

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    Beach Volleyball Photos

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    Beach Volleyball Photos

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    Beach Volleyball Photos

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    Beach Volleyball Photos

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