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10 Sports on the List of Olympic Games to Watch

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The list of Olympic Games consists of 32 sports. The Summer Olympics in Paris 2024 will be the XXXIII Olympiad since its inception in 1896. This will be the sixth time France will host the competition. The event is scheduled to run between July 26 and August 11.

Some sports are more popular than others, but the competition allows any discipline that meets its qualifications to participate. Individual athletes also increase the appeal of certain disciplines. Here is the list of 10 events you’ll watch at the Olympic Games.

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Track 

Women’s 100m race at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

We can’t imagine the Olympic games without track and field. It’s the event’s signature event and millions of people around the world tune in. The 100m final is a show no one wants to miss. In 2016, more than 35 million viewers watched Usain Bolt win the race.

The marathon is also a draw. Kenyan athletes tend to dominate and this year, the world will tune in as Eliud Kipchoge tries to win a third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

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Gymnastics

A gymnastics center at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Source: Wikimedia licensed by Public domain

Gymnastics is another favorite in the list of Olympic Games. There are different types, artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, group gymnastics and trampoline. Artistic gymnastics is the most popular. It has individual and team competitions such as the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.

The United States is the best team in the sport. Until the Tokyo Games in 2020, it won every gold medal since 2008. Simone Biles generates a lot of attention and will be expected to have a clean sweep of the gold medals.

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Basketball

Team USA at the Beijing Olympics. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

Basketball is a great attraction because it features recognizable players from the National Basketball Association (NBA). The United States men’s team has won 16 of the 18 tournaments and they remain the favorites. The NBA is the best league in the world and they send these players to represent the country, hence their dominance.

On the women’s side, there will be renewed interest in the team, after the attention that the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) commands. Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese might not be in the team but many will still follow. Just like the men, the women’s team has dominated, winning the last nine events.

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Swimming

Swimming at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

Swimming is a niche sport but is widely popular during the Olympics. Perhaps it’s because of its relatability. Many of us do it on a casual Sunday afternoon and that makes watching professionals fun. Americans tune in because they consistently produce the best swimmers.

Michael Phelps is the most successful athlete in Olympic history, having won 28 medals. 23 of which are gold medals. Katie Ledecky in the women’s team has also strengthened America’s dominance. The country has won 553 of 1,674 swimming medals.

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Women’s Soccer

Wembley Women’s Olympic Final. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-2.0

Fans complain about men’s international football but it’s the very thing that women’s football thrive on. It has brought attention to the women and led to the development of the game. The Olympics is one of the biggest stages for women’s football.

The United States has won the most medals but in recent years, has been outplayed by other teams. The team has a new coach in Emma Hayes and will look to overturn the disappointment of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand.

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Weightlifting

Weightlifting at the Olympics. Video Credit: Olympics

Weightlifting has been part of the Olympics since 1896. It’s a show of human strength and resilience. You might have tried to do this but seeing someone lift over 80 kilograms or more is a sight to behold. The Soviet Union is the most successful country in the discipline with a total of 62 medals; 39 gold, 21 silver and 2 bronzes.

Triathlon

Closest finish in the Triathlon. Video Credit: Olympics

Triathlon is a combination of swimming, cycling and running. If you love watching them separately, try to watch them in combination. It has been part of the Olympics since 2000. At the Olympics, competitors cover a distance of 1.5 km in swimming, 40 km in cycling and 10 km in running. 

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Tennis

Greenset supplier of the tennis surfaces for the Rio Olympics 2016. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

Tennis was part of the first Olympic Games in 1896 but was dropped in 1924 because of wrangles between the International Olympic Committee and the International Lawn Tennis Federation. Both disagreed on the classification of amateurs. The sport returned to the Olympics in 1988 and has since been part of it. Today, the sport receives massive interest due to global figures like Rafael Nadal, and previously Serena Williams and Roger Federer.

Archery

Archery at the 2012 Olympics. Source: Wikimedia licensed CC-BY-2.0

If you don’t know what archery is, it’s shooting with a bow and arrow. This is a niche sport which has been part of the Olympics since the 1900 Summer Games. However, it wasn’t part of the game after 1920 and made a comeback in 1972. South Korea is the most successful with 27 gold medals, nine silver and seven bronze medals.

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Cycling

Track cycling at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-4.0

Cycling is one of the most fascinating endurance sports you can watch. It has been part of the Summer Games since its beginning. There are different categories;

  • Mountain biking
  • BMX racing
  • BMX freestyle
  • Road cycling
  • Track cycling

Initially, only men competed at the events but that changed in 1988 when women’s events were introduced. It wasn’t until the 2012 Olympics that men and women competed in the same number of events. The Netherlands is the most successful country in road cycling. Overall, France has won the most gold medals with 41.

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These sports are on the list of the Olympic Games. Some are more popular and if you want to enjoy niche disciplines, you can. This is why the Olympics are special. It’s a platform that brings together a different variety of sports and it’s a chance for spectators to learn more about other disciplines.

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Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi is a sports enthusiast who enjoys sharing sports knowledge. Over the years, she has also written on different niches, and she now brings that experience at Spotcovery. She writes sports content and also, Arts & Culture, Recipe, Beauty and more.

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