Friday, August 03, 2012

1900 Paris Olympics

I mentioned some of the defunct, or now abandoned Olympic events and how I'm getting lists of them sent to me.  I noticed that the 1900 Paris Olympic games gets mentioned a bunch so I thought I'd look more deeply into it.  Thank you, Wikipedia!  By the way, if I could time travel to one former Olympics, this would be the one.
The first thing that I found is that those lists are a bit misleading.  The official sports were pretty normal.  The only ones they had then that we don't have now are: cricket, croquet, golf, polo, rugby and tug of war.  If I told you that all of these would be included in the next Olympics, you wouldn't think twice. 
Also one called 'basque pelota', which looks like team open air racquet-ball.  Only two teams competed, only one match was played.   Spain beat France.  No bronze medal was awarded. 
Where are the weird sports?  That would be the unofficial sports.  Seriously, check out this list:
In addition to these 71 schools and 92 military events were also held across a range of sports.

By the way, Wikipedia helpfully tells me that 'longue paume' is a longer version of 'jeu de paume'.  How great is that list?  I mean seriously, if you turned on the TV some Saturday afternoon and saw a cannon shooting competition going on, is there any chance you wouldn't watch?  Same thing with fire fighting.  I don't even know what 'life saving' was as an event but man, I really want to know!
I tell you, if the TARDIS ever appears on my lawn, I now know where I'm going to ask to go.

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