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Five events you didn't know that were once part of the Summer Olympics

Did you know Tug of War was a competitive Olympic event for five editions?

Olympics

120 years have passed since the first modern Olympics were held in Greece, which saw 14 nations contest a total of 43 events in nine sports. Times have changed since then and in Rio, it will be a total of 207 countries fighting out in 306 different events in 26 sports.

As golf and rugby sevens get set to take their respective Olympic bows come this August at the Rio Games, let us take a look at a few peculiar events that were once part of the summer Games but were later discontinued. 


1. Art Competitions

Jean Jacoby’s drawing ‘Rugby’ won him gold in 1928

From 1912 to 1948, medals were awarded to artists for works inspired by sport. These were divided into five categories – music, literature, sculpture, painting and architecture. All entries were required to be original and as in the athletic events, gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to the highest ranked artists. However, not all medals were awarded in each competition and on a few occasions, no medals were presented at all.

At the 1952 Games in Helsinki, most artists sending in their entries were professionals, while all Olympic athletes at the time were required to be amateurs. This sparked a debate within the IOC, who decided to reinstate the competitions. However, the Finnish organizers claimed that there was no time to organize one and as a result, an art exhibition took place instead.

According to the medals won, Luxembourg painter Jean Jacoby is the most successful Olympic artist, as he won gold for his painting ‘Étude de Sport’ in 1924, and for his drawing ‘Rugby’ in 1928. Alex Diggelmann won three medals – gold in 1936, followed by a silver and a bronze in 1948.

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