The Olympics feature a diverse array of events. Casual fans may catch swimming, track, basketball and mainstream events, but miss other off-the-radar gems. These seven sports are real Olympic events viewers may not realize are part of the Games.
Racewalking, 20 and 50 km walk
In race walking, contestants must maintain contact with the ground at all times. Although the sport looks like a slow long-distance run, the grind of racing and staying within the rules actually makes for a tiring endeavor.
Think synchronized swimming meets ice dancing on a gym mat. This form of ballet features the use of props such as ropes, hoops, balls, clubs and ribbons. The U.S. has not figured out the sport, never medaling in the team or all-around competition (women's event only).
Aren't you mad you didn't take those elementary school birthday parties seriously? Olympic trampoline scoring is based on tricks and the competitors' ability to complete a variety of required positions.
Although most fans may think of this as an X Games-only sport, men's and women's BMX premiered at the 2008 Olympics. The U.S. has three of the 12 medals awarded all-time in the off-road cycling racing, but no American has won gold.
Yes, guns are in the Olympics. There are ten shooting events, including air rifle, rapid fire pistol and skeet shooting. The U.S. actually won the first medal of the 2016 Olympics, in 10 meter air rifle, with Virginia Thrasher setting an Olympic record.
Equestrian is an event where horses jump over random items and show how obedient they are. There are three categories (each team and individual): Dressage, in which horses perform organized tasks directed by the rider; jumping, in which the horses show athletic prowess leaping over obstacles; and eventing, in which horses display a mixture of both dressage and jumping.
This event combines five eclectic Olympic sports: épée fencing, 200 m freestyle swimming, show jumping (equestrian), pistol shooting, and 3.2 km cross-country running (athletics). Modern pentathlon has been part of the Games since 1912, and the U.S. has won nine medals, fourth-most all-time. However, none of those medals are gold (six silver, three bronze).
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