Olympic Jousting? Ancient sport fans call for it at Games

  • 21 July 2016
Two knights joust at a modern re-enactment show Image copyright PA
Image caption Jousting: like using a lightsaber while riding a horse

The ancient sport of jousting should be in the Olympics, says the historical charity English Heritage.

This year golf and rugby sevens are the new sports at Rio 2016. But jousting fans want more events with men and women wearing armour, carrying lances and charging at each other on horses at 30mph.

Historically, jousting was training for battles, but knights would also challenge each other at tournaments - King Henry VIII was a famous fan.

An online petition has been launched, asking for support from the public.

Five Jousting Facts

  • The sport involves competitors with 20kg of armour, holding a 3m lance whilst racing towards their opponents at a gallop of up to 30mph!
  • Points are awarded for unhorsing a knight, breaking two spears tip-to-tip, striking an opponent's helmet, and breaking the most spears.
  • A form of jousting is the official state sport of Maryland in the US.
  • In competitions a solid lance is normally used, but in shows knights use a lance with a balsa wood end which smashes to pieces for a special effect.
  • Horses wear 'caparisons', a type of fancy cloth featuring the rider's heraldic symbols and had their heads protected by a 'chanfron', an iron shield for protection from lances.

More on this story