Last week, we gave you a list of sports you might have been surprised to find are actually Olympic events. But what about all those sports that don't make the cut? We've done some field research (OK, we also asked around on Facebook) and came up with seven sports for our Summer Olympics wishlist.
7. Tug of War
Everyone's played at least once, whether it was at a college beach party or middle school summer camp. You may not have realized this seemingly innocuous little game has an established place in Olympic history. The international governing body of tug of war, the Tug of War International Federation, continues to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee even though the sport was only played in the games from 1900-1920.
With our country's general weight advantage, we think we might have pretty good chances in this possible event.
6. Bull Riding
Ok, we admit this one has zero historic ties to the Olympic games. But if you're going to allow Dressage to continue, we think they might as well throw in an animal involved-sport that modern viewers actually enjoy. And this isn't just our American bias talking. Professional Bull Riding enjoys followings in Canada, Australia, Mexico and Brazil with numerous other countries enjoying a variety of rodeo sports.
If we're talking about sports that will keep the world enthralled during the long, hot months of summer then surfing seems like a natural fit. With the recent inclusion of other "extreme" sports such as BMX and snowboarding, we hope to see surfing pop up on the IOC's radar in coming years. With the technological developments of wave pools and the enormous influence of surfing lifestyle brands, there's no way the addition of this sport could be bad for anybody.
4. Jump Rope
For starters this is definitely a sport we could all, potentially, get into. You don't have to be naturally tall or short or anything really besides in shape to get good at jumping over a rope. Rope skipping emerged as a competitive sport in the early seventies, when Richard Cendali a former football player and P.E. teacher in Boulder, CO began promoting the sport around the country and eventually, the world. Nearly two dozen countries already compete in the FISAC - IRSF (Fédération internationale de saut à la corde - International Rope Skipping Federation) World Championships each year.
3. Tandem Cycle Sprints
Believe it or not, there was a time when tandem bikes were more than just art or a staple in the Paralympics. Since those golden days even the Union Cycliste Internationale has ceased to sanction tandem sprints, but theses bicycles built for two have long been an arena in which the everyman can truly shine. For a real example check out the story of Lionel Cox, an Australian athlete who won the gold medal in tandem sprints in 1952 - without ever having ridden a tandem bike before.
It may not be a thrilling, action-packed athletic event, but you have to admit that bowling is a pretty amateur-friendly athletic pursuit. The IOC recognizes bowling and it's governing body, but the sport has never gotten closer to the games than being a demonstration sport in the 1988 summer games in South Seoul. According to the International Bowling Museum, the sport is played by 95 million people in more than 90 countries. We know that makes it more popular than curling.
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The German version of dodgeball is called "Völkerball," which translates to "the peoples' game." We've seen the 2004 movie and once you check out the annual Beach Dodgeball World Cup you'll be pulling to make this one an Olympic event in no time. Teams dress up in costumes reflecting national stereotypes and bystanders enjoy a beach party atmosphere, which would automatically make this the most popular Olympic event for both live and at-home viewing. As we understand, völkerball involves more strategy than the dodge ball we play in the states, but there's hardly a more internationally friendly sport than one that only requires players, some balls and...well, some balls.