The enormous number and diversity of sports that have been part of the Olympic Games, either as official or unauthorized exhibition sports, is interesting. Since the inaugural modern Olympic Games in 1896, as many as 40 sports and events have been dropped entirely from the program.

Since 1896, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken significant choices, notably which sports are to be included and left out at the Olympics. Because of their international appeal, sporting events are added, canceled, and occasionally resurrected. 

Previously, the host country would frequently add their own sports. Some of the defunct events were simply converted to metric distances or morphed into today's well-known events, with track and field, and swimming in particular. In addition to the removed sports, plenty of discontinued sporting events are still on the program.

What sports were removed from the Olympics?

The Olympic opening ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. (Getty)

The inaugural Olympic Games were held from April 6 to April 15, 1896, on a much smaller scale than the contemporary Games. There were just 14 nations represented, and a total of 241 athletes competed, all of them were from Europe or the United States. Track and field athletics, gymnastics, cycling, swimming, fencing, shooting, tennis, weightlifting, wrestling, and road and track events were among the ten events.

Since then, throughout history, there have been various other sports that have taken part in the Olympic Games, some may sound extremely bizzare at the moment, like Ballooning, Kite flying, Life saving, Pigeon racing, Wheelchair racing, and some even belonged to the Winter Olympics, such as Figure skating, and Ice Hockey, so one might understand why these sports were once discontinued. Below, check out the full list of sports removed from the Summer Olympics.

American football
Angling
Art competitions
Australian football
Ballooning
Boules
Bowling
Budo
Cannon shooting
Cricket
Croquet
Cycle polo
Figure skating
Fire fighting
Gaelic football 
Gliding
Glima
Hurling
Ice hockey 
Jeu de paume
Kaatsen
Kite flying
Korfball
Lacrosse
Life saving
Longue paume
Motor racing
Motorcycle racing
Pesäpallo
Pigeon racing
Polo
Rackets
Roller hockey
Roque
Rugby union
Savate
Tug of war
Water motorsports
Water skiing
Wheelchair racing