Summer Olympic Events you May Not Know Exist

This summer Brazil is hosting the 2016 summer Olympics. Everyone is excited to watch U.S.A. compete in swimming, diving, gymnastics, volleyball and uh… horse dancing? Some Olympic events are more well known than others, and some are just plain weird. Here are 5 Olympic events to watch for this summer that you may not have known about.

Disclaimer: This list is based purely off of the popularity of the sport. It is not meant to doubt the fact that they are sports or suggest that they shouldn’t be in the Olympics. 

1.) Table Tennis/Ping Pong
Ok fine, so most people know this is an Olympic sport. It’s also a popular party game and a large portion of Franklin Middle School’s gym curriculum. Be cautioned though, these Olympians take their sport very seriously. They are known to exercise just as much as any other Olympian, and when you watch it’s not uncommon to see drops of sweat rolling off of their foreheads.

2.) Handball
While many people have heard of handball, the actual mechanics of the game aren’t well known. The objective is pretty simple, pass the ball into the goal of the other team. There are two teams of seven players (six field players plus one goalkeeper) After receiving the ball, players can pass, keep possession, or shoot the ball. If possessing the ball, players must dribble (similar to a basketball dribble), or can take up to three steps for up to three seconds at a time without dribbling.

3.) Dressage
Though equestrian events are fun to watch, dressage is especially entertaining. It’s virtually horse dancing. Okay fine the exact definition is, “the art or method of training a horse in obedience and in precision of movement.” In this event the wealthy riders demonstrate the highest possible quality of  expensive horses’ gait, control and ability. To fully understand this event you just have to watch this video.

4.) Canoeing
Rowing is a highly anticipated Olympic sport. This is not rowing. This is canoeing. You get in a canoe and slalom or sprint through artificially created rapids. It’s the summer version of the ski slalom, though the athletes still can freezing due to the water and wipeouts many experience.

5.) Racewalking
Yes this is actually a thing. The rule is that one foot must appear to be in contact with the ground at all times as you race forward. Note that the rule is it must appear that way. What often results from this is a bunch of men and women alike wearing short shorts and sashaying in sassy unison. This one simultaneously boring and funny to watch due to the slow pace yet extreme effort from the participants. Just see for yourself here 

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