The last time people around the world gathered around their TV screens to watch the Summer Olympics, swimming was the name of the game and Michael Phelps was the star of the show. He'll be making his third Olympic appearance this August, but by now we're getting a little bored watching him swim back and forth really fast and getting medals.
So, to break things up on your personal Olympics programming guide try tuning into these seven sports you probably forgot (or never even knew) were in the summer Olympics.7. Kayak Slalom
This sport is exactly what you think it is. Think slalom, as in the winter Olympic sport where skiers zigzag through poles as fast as possible, but in a kayak. The 300-meter kayak slalom course includes 20 to 25 gates that must be entered through a specific direction. Paddler's receive penalties based on the number of gates he or she touches or misses all together.
We all know (and love watching) table tennis during the Olympics. Mostly because, I mean come one, that's a sport we played - and probably sucked at - during high school P.E.
Judo is not to be confused with Taekwondo, which is also a summer Olympic sport. Not only is judo an event for both men and women, there are currently seven weight classes. According to the Olympics website, the "traditional Japanese wrestling sport" was developed in the 1880s and made it's Olympic debut at the 1964 games in Tokyo.4. Trampoline
Any sport that you can compete in while wearing socks is damn cool in our book. Making its debut at the 2000 games in Sydney, Olympic trampoline routines are judged similarly to other gymnastics routines. Points are added based on the difficulty of the routine, execution and style with deductions for failing to land with both feet at the same time and touching that trampoline with the hands.
3. Greco-Roman Wrestling
It may not be one of the most popular sports nowadays, but this form of wrestling has been a part of the games since the ancient Olympics in 708 B.C. You may have seen it before, but likely don't know that it continues to be a male-only sport and requires that the wrestler use only his upper body strength to over power his opponent. Maybe more people would watch if they renamed it something more dynamic. We're pulling for "Extreme Arm Wrestling."2. Dressage
This sport falls under the umbrella of equestrian sports, although some people liken it to "horse ballet." Another ancient sport that seems more than a little out of place in a competition that now includes such modern adrenaline fueled sports like snowboarding and BMX, dressage require a horse and rider to demonstrate the horses agility and ability to change direction and speed at a moments notice. Words cannot explain. See the video below.
We're not saying it's easy. We're saying it's funny. Watching a pack of grown men walk and wiggle their hips across the finish line, all the while hoping not to get DQ'd for "lifting" infractions...now that's something to look forward to every four years. Both men and women compete in a 20 km race, with an extra 50 km event for men. Although it's been an Olympic sport since the 1930's, only one American, Larry Young, has ever medaled. And we think we're OK with that.
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