The Olympic Games are often heralded as a way of introducing lesser-seen sports to a larger audience. Here are six that have found their way into the public’s hearts
Olympic debut: Paris, 1900
An obstacle race usually held over 3,000m, the steeplechase derives its name from the more traditional horseracing event.
Each circuit has four barriers and one water jump to clear.
Olympic debut: Los Angeles, 1984
This aquatic ballet requires incredible lung strength; synchronised swimmers’ aerobic capacity ranks second only to long-distance runners.
Olympic debut: Athens, 1896
Ever since 19th-century Greece, crowds have marveled at the accuracy and mental skill needed to hit targets that can move at speeds of up to 88km/h.
Olympic debut: Sydney, 2000
Nine judges score for rhythm, technique and execution.
Everything from the angle of the limbs to the position of the feet must be as close to perfect as possible.
Olympic debut: London, 1908
Considered the most subjective of all athletic disciplines, judges along the 20km or 50km routes hold up red cards if an athlete has both feet off of the ground.
Olympic debut: Munich, 1972
Originally modelled on slalom skiing, the canoe slalom course has 25 gates or pairs of hanging poles to navigate through, with some having to be battled upstream, against the current.