All athletes dream of participating in the Olympic Games. However, it is the IOC or the International Olympic Committee that decides which sports will be represented at each Olympic Games. Today, the list includes 34 sports for the Summer Games and 7 sports for the Winter Games.
Olympic Summer Games
Firstly, there is football, which is the most played sport in the world. Football has been represented at the Olympics from 1900 to the present day. Then there is basketball, which is often dominated by the United States. France, moreover, is still almost a favourite in handball. Volleyball has also been very popular from the first edition until now. The list of team sports is completed by rugby 7-a-side and field hockey.
You should know afterwards that there are 5 disciplines for aquatic sports: artistic swimming, water polo, swimming, marathon swimming and diving. These disciplines are complemented by sailing and canoeing.
As far as individual sports are concerned, athletics takes first place. By the way, note that athletics encompasses 47 disciplines. There is also golf, archery, badminton, cycling, shooting and martial arts (karate, judo, boxing…).
Winter Olympic Games
As already mentioned, 7 sports are represented at the Winter Olympics. Since 1960, biathlon has been one of the sports present at the Winter Olympics. Bobsleigh is also a discipline that has been present since the beginning of the Winter Olympics. An individual variant of bobsleigh, skeleton, was introduced in 1928. Then there is curling, which is a precision sport.
Ice hockey is the leading team sport in the winter Olympics. Sledding completes the list. During the Winter Olympics, skating is also a sport that is very popular with the public. It is divided into three disciplines: figure skating, short track and speed skating.
Finally, skiing is the sport with the largest number of athletes during the Winter Olympics. Skiing is made up of 6 disciplines: snowboarding, ski jumping, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing, cross-country skiing and alpine skiing.
Things to remember!
You should remember that the list of sports represented at the Olympic Games is not fixed. The IOC may remove sports or disciplines and may add others. For example, baseball and softball will be on the programme during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The selection criterion is simple, a sport must be practiced by many people on all 5 continents. The existence of an international federation is also mandatory.
In short, here is a non-exhaustive list of the sports present during the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.