The Olympics represent people going after their dreams, no matter how wild or unattainable they might seem. So far, China has brought most of these dreams to fruition, with lead scores as the top medal winner. But the games must go on, and we have yet to see which country comes out as this year’s champion. Stay updated with the full coverage of the games at BBC’s Olympic Radio podcast.
Here are three little known sports where athletes have anything less than significant goals:
Trampolines have been around since 1934 but it wasn’t until 2000 that it made its official debut as an Olympic game under the gymnastics category.
Competitors are required to perform a series of 10 judged routines that consist of various rotations, twists and shapes. A routine must always start and finish on the athlete’s feet. In addition to the 10 contacts with the bed in a routine, a competitor is allowed to perform a straight jump to control their height at the end of a routine, before sticking the landing.
Forces to reckon with: Although trampolines are popular in the United States, America hasn’t taken home a medal since the first Olympics. American’s neighbors, Canada, have taken home 5 total medals in the event and China (four medals) and Russia (three medals) are also countries who have done well.
Sailing is an Olympic sport that dates back to Paris in 1900. Each sailing event consists of a series of races and with the exception of the women’s match racing event, points in each race are awarded adoring to position. There are two different basic categories that sailing races fall into: fleet races and match racing. Sailing is technical and tactical and the key to success is an athlete’s ability to master their boats, adjust to changes and position themselves in a spot they will win.
Forces to reckon with: Host country, Great Britain has the greatest amount of gold medals with 24 but U.S. is the leader of total amount of medals with 59. Norway, France, Denmark and Spain are also leaders in the sport.
Handball in the Olympics is not the same sport that’s like squash but without a racquet. Modern day handball is kind of like water-polo without the water. The modern indoor version made its Olympic debut at Munich 1972. Handball teams each have seven players passing and dribbling (bouncing) a small ball with their hands. The object of the game is to throw the ball into the opposition’s goal. The game is very exciting because a team can score upwards of 60 goals a game.
Forces to reckon with: Historically, the three most successful women’s teams are Denmark, Korea and Russia, Yugoslavia and Sweden for the men.
What sports are you looking forward to see at the Olympics this year?