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- History


- Sports' names


- Sporting idioms


- Talking sport


- Can you win?

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AquaticsAquatics - Women made their debut in the swimming events in Stockholm, 1912 - the British 4 x 100 relay team won gold.

ArcheryArchery - The earliest records of archery date back to the ancient Egyptians, 5,000 years ago.

AthleticsAthletics - Jesse Owens broke five world records and equalled a sixth in the space of 45 minutes in Berlin in 1936.

BadmintonBadminton - The shuttlecock can travel at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (mph).

BaseballBaseball - Catchers needs more protection than the players because the balls they catch can travel as fast as 100 mph.

BasketballBasketball - The United States have won a medal at every Olympic Games they have participated in (they boycotted the Games in 1980). To date, they have won 12 gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

BoxingBoxing - The quickest Olympic knockout was 15 seconds - Sam Mosberg (USA) defeating Richard Breland (South Africa) in 1920.

CanoeingCanoe / Kayak - Canoeing is one of the oldest forms of human transportation. The earliest canoes were constructed from animal skins and tree bark.

CyclingCycling - In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Chris Boardman used a revolutionary bike to became Britain’s first cycling gold medallist for 72 years.

EquestrianEquestrian - Reiner Klimke, from Germany, is the most successful ever Olympic rider. He made his Olympic debut in 1960 and won six gold and two bronze medals in individual and team events between 1964 and 1988.

FencingFencing - The founder of the Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was a keen supporter of fencing and, as a result, the sport was one of only nine included in the first modern Olympic programme in 1896.

FootballFootball - The roots of a similar game to football can be found in ancient China, Greece and Rome. But the modern game of football started with the creation of the Football Association of England in 1863.

GymnasticsGymnastics - The Russian gymnastic, Aleksandr Dityatin became the only athlete ever to win eight medals in one Olympics when he won medals in each of the men's gymnastic events in 1980.

HandballHandball - Players are limited to moving three steps before passing the ball to a team-mate, unless they dribble with the ball by bouncing it.

HockeyHockey - During the first half of the twentieth century, India dominated this sport, winning 30 games and 6 Olympic gold medals from 1928 to 1956.

JudoJudo - The host country is allowed to add one sport and, in 1964 when the games were in held in Tokyo, Japan chose judo.

Modern PentathlonModern Pentathlon - This is the only sport to have been created specifically for the Games by the International Olympic Committee.

RowingRowing - The Briton, Sir Steve Redgrave, won a record of five rowing golds from 1984 to 2000.

SailingSailing - Although yachting was included in the first modern Games in Athens in 1896, its debut was postponed until the 1900 Paris Games due to persistent bad weather.

ShootingShooting - After a faulty grenade exploded in Karoly Takacs’s right hand, he taught himself to shoot left-handed and won gold in the rapid-fire pistol in London in 1948.

SoftballSoftball - The origin of softball goes back to the beginning of the nineteenth century when baseball players decided to play their sport out of season by taking it indoors.

Table tennisTable Tennis - The names of some shots in table tennis reveal the game's aggressive and competitive nature - the Kill, the Hit and the Chop.

TaekwondoTaekwondo - After being a demonstration sport in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, taekwondo became an official medal sport in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

TennisTennis - In the 11th century tennis became a popular activity in French monasteries. Monks used the palms of their hands to hit a cloth bag stuffed with hair. It was known as ‘jeu de paume’ (sport of the hands).

TriathlonTriathlon - Triathlon involves at least two hours of swimming, cycling and running. Appropriately, the man who set up the first competition for this punishing sport was called Dave Pain.

VolleyballVolleyball - Volleyball has some strict rules of etiquette and players exchange small gifts before international games.

WeightliftingWeightlifting - Naim Suleymanoglu, the Bulgarian-born Turk was one of the most celebrated lifters and Olympians. He weighed less than 64 kg but could lift almost three times his body weight.

wrestlingWrestling - A 1912 bout between Estonia’s Martin Klein and Finland’s Alfred Asikainen lasted for 11 hours and 40 minutes. Klein eventually won, but was too tired to compete in the final.
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