No, we weren't there. But we're pretty sure the Olympic Games have never been the same since tug-of-war and dueling pistol were included in the program. There were plenty of sports on the docket that we'll likely never see again, and that's really too bad. With the help of Olympic.org and a great list in the New York Times, here are the Olympic sports we'd like to see make a comeback in our lifetime.
Water skiing had its 15 minutes of Olympic fame at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich. This wasn't just any water skiing -- the events included slalom, figure skiing and ski jumping for men and women. The U.S. won three gold medals, two silver and a bronze.
If only we could bring this one back. Who wouldn't want to watch a group of professional athletes acting like schoolchildren? Tug-of-war made its Olympic debut in 1900 and said its farewell at 1920 games in Paris, France. Great Britain was the last country to win the gold, but an American team representing the Milwaukee Athletic Club won in 1904. If they ever did bring the event back, it should also be standard procedure that all male participants sport a dapper mustache and wear ridiculously tight tank tops. Hipsters will be jealous, but this would never get old.
There's something so civilized about croquet. You can play it wearing a suit, and mon dieu, that's what they did in 1900 at the Paris Games. Croquet would certainly add a much-needed fashionable edge to the modern Olympics. Leotards and Speedos are just becoming so tired. And if fashion's not your thing, then you should at least support croquet's return for the simple fact that after an inspiring match, you could go out back and whack a ball around yourself. Your Olympic glory dreams will be much more within your reach. Just make sure you reel in the power. Olympic events don't include neighbors' windows as hazards. That won't go over well.
Tandem cycling events emerged in the Olympics in 1906, but never returned after the 1972 Munich Games. How unfortunate. The sport could be summer's answer to figure skating. Rumors of romance between the athletes? Outrageous matching spandex? IOC, we're waiting impatiently.
It's not quite as awesome as you might imagine -- less John Wayne, more "Police Academy." Instead of actually fighting a duel, the contestants shot at a dummy in a frock coat. Still, we think today's Olympic fans would be thrilled if the dueling pistol was resurrected. And don't be alarmed by the man in the upper right corner. That's Karoly Takacs of Hungary, who actually won the rapid fire pistol shooting event in the 1948 Olympics. The photo, however, gives you a quite clear idea of what those dummies would have been facing.
It's a crime we've lost these events over the years. Who needs rhythmic gymnastics when you could have any of these back?
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