In the 2012 Olympic Games that kick off Friday in London there will be 26 different sports with more than 300 different events, but there are some events that are no more.
(Related: Check out all stories related to the 2012 Olympic Games by TheBlaze)
Here is a look at some of the lost Olympic events curated by National Geographic:
- Tug-of-War: From 1900 to 1920, the playground feat of strength was part of the Olympic games. NatGeo reports it was discontinued by the International Olympic Committee when it decided every sport needed a "global governing body." Tug-of-War didn't have equal representation on an international scale. There was also some controversy over the British team potentially using illegally spiked shoes in 1908.
- Solo Synchronized Swimming: Although team synchronized swimming remains an event in the games, what NatGeo calls a "seemingly oxymoronic" version of doing it solo was a part of the Olympics from 1984 to 1992. NatGeo also points out the "synchronized" part comes from the water dancer coordinating his or her movements to the music.
- Hot-Air Ballooning: This event was only performed one year in 1900 in the Games hosted by Paris. Participants were judged on distance traveled, time and landing. NatGeo reports it was removed as an event because of a ban on motorized sports at the Games.
- Pigeon Shooting: Although shooting events are still apart of the summer Olympics, live pigeon shooting was stopped after one time. It was also only conducted at the 1900 Paris Olympics. NatGeo speculates the mess could have been part of the reason for the event not sticking.
Here's a bonus lost game: Competitive art. Although not a sport, the Olympics held art competitions in 1912 for the games in Stockholm, Sweden. In fact, the founder of the International Olympic Committee , Pierre de Coubertin, was awarded a gold medal for his poem own Ode au Sport (read it here). GeekOSystem writes art competitions were part of the Olympic Games until 1948. GeekOSystem also points out that at the medals at the time of de Coubertin's win were solid gold worth $25,000.
Check out more lost Olympic events reported on by National Geographic here.
And what of sports that were never part of the Olympic games, like bowling. The Associated Press reported Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, who is part of the U.S. Olympic team and spokesman for the U.S. Bowling Congress, saying he thinks bowling should be an Olympic sport.
"Who should I talk to over here about 2016?" said Paul, whose average is in the high 190s.
Would you want any of these sports brought back? How about instituting any new sports? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.