Tug 'O' War
During the 1900 games, competitors from Sweden, Denmark and the French took part in the traditional tug 'o' war game up until 1920 Olympics.
Solo Synchronised Swimming
From 1984 to 1992, there was an official Olympic sport known as solo synchronised swimming. Performing complicated acrobatic swimming routines is pretty impressive stuff, and perhaps it can be considered an aquatic ballet.
This Finnish version of baseball is a cross between cricket and American baseball. It involves participants playing on zigzag bases and trying to score more runs than the opposing team. This game was tried out at the 1952 Helsinki Games, but (unsurprisingly) failed to catch on.
Hot Air Ballooning
During the 1900 Olympic Games, 61 men and 3 women competed in ballooning, which consisted of 18 events. Judges marked contestants on various points, like distance, duration and elevation.
Yes, we're not pulling your leg! This was contested only once, in 1904. Competitors would dive into the pool and remain motionless for 60 seconds or until their head bobbed out of the water, after which their distance was measured.
Live Pigeon Shooting
Live pigeon shooting games took place in the 1900s Olympic games. In this event, live pigeon targets were released in front of the shooters, who then stayed in the reckoning until they missed twice. The game never took on and pigeons were replaced with clay pigeons.
Kaatsen (or Frisian handball) is a popular sport in northern Holland. However, it failed to make an impact on the Olympics after it debuted in 1928 at the Amsterdam Games. This strange three-player sport simply couldn't generate enough interest or competitors from various nations for it to be Olympic-worthy on a regular basis!
'Skijoring' is Norwegian for ski driving. The 1928 Winter Games featured a skijoring competition. This competition involved horses dragging racers on skis through an elaborate snow course.
The biathlon (a part of the games since 1960) involves bouts of zenlike cross country skiing punctuated by bursts of shooting the heck out of standing targets, only to be repeated until this weird event reaches its conclusion. At times, participants must shoot standing; at other points, they shoot from the prone position. Basically, this event turns survival skills into sport.
Although this isn't and hasn't taken place as part of the Olympic games, it might soon be. Hundreds of pole dancing enthusiasts are petitioning the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make pole dancing an official Olympic sport. So, watch this space...