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Sport Descriptions

Summer Sports

Archery: Shooting an arrow with a crossbow. The archers stand 70m away from a target that is 1.22m in diameter (IOC).
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Art Contests: No longer considered an official Olympic event. Included sculpture, painting literature, music composition, and drawing.
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Badminton: A racquet sport played on a small, rectangular court, divided in half by a net. A projectile called a shuttlecock is hit
back and forth over the net until the shuttlecock hits the ground.
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Baseball: 2008 is the final year for this sport, which has only been an official Olympic sport since 1992. Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport
played between two teams of nine. Each team takes turns batting and fielding for nine innings (or more, if the score is tied at the end of nine).
Teams try to score runs by hitting the baseball and running around the bases, touching each one as they pass. A run is scored when a batter makes
it back to home plate, without being tagged or called out.
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Basketball: A team sport that involves throwing a ball through a 10-foot high hoop.
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Boxing: A combat sport in which two opponents of similar weight fight each other with only their fists. Play continues until the match is
called by the referee, or if one of the fighters is knocked out for 10 seconds.
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Canoeing: Paddling a canoe or kayak with a paddle.
K1 = single-seat kayak
K2 = double-seated kayak
K4 = four-seated kayak
C1 = single kneeling canoe / solo canoe
C2 = double kneeling canoe / tandem canoe
C4 = 4-person kneeling canoe
F1 = single-seat folding kayak
F2 = double-seated folding kayak
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Cricket: A bat-and-ball sport, played by two teams of eleven. A match is played on an oval field, in the middle of which is a 22-yd long strip
of flat ground called a pitch. A wicket is placed at each end of the pitch. One person (the bowler) rolls a fist-sized ball down the pitch towards a wicket. At
the other wicket, a batsman defends the wicket with a wooden bat. The bowler's team members field the ball to stop the batsman from scoring. The batsman must
run from one wicket to the other, or hit the ball to the edge of the playing field in order to score a point.
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Croquet: Using a wooden mallet to hit balls through hoops embedded into the ground.
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Cycling: Bicycle riding over various distances and terrains, in a racing format.
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Diving: A swimmer performs acrobatics while jumping into the water off of a platform or a springboard. Can be an individual event or a synchronised team event.
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Equestrian: Horseback riding in a variety of disciplines, including dressage, eventing and jumping.
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Fencing: Armed combat. There are three types of weapons used:
Foil = a light, thrusting weapon; can only touch opponents' torso.
Epee = a heavy, thrusting weapon; can touch opponents' entire body.
Sabre = a light, cutting and thrusting weapon; can only touch above opponents' waist (except hands).
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Golf: A player uses different types of clubs to hit a ball into a hole in the lowest number of strokes as possible.
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Gymnastics: Divided into two categories - rhythmic and artistic. Gymnastics involves acrobatic skills performed on 9 apparatus. The men perform on rings,
horizontal bar, parallel bars, long horse vault and floor exercise. The women perform on uneven bars, side horse vault, floor exercise and balance beam.
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Handball: Two teams of seven pass and bounce a ball around a field or court, and try to throw the ball into their opponent's goal.
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Field Hockey: Two teams of eleven hit and pass a ball around a field and try to knock the ball into their opponent's goal.
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Jeu de Paume: A precursor to lawn tennis. Players hit the ball with their hands over a net to try and score points. A point is scored when the ball hits the ground.
Eventually, the sport evolved, and racquets were used, but the name of the sport remained the same.
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Judo: A modern form of Japanese martial arts. The object is to throw one's opponent to the ground.
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Lacrosse: A team contact sport where players use a long-handled racquet (stick) to hit a rubber ball. The players carry, catch and pass the ball around the field.
A point is scored when the ball is put into the opponent's goal.
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Modern Pentathlon: Five competitions held in succession. The events are: 110/100m hurdles, shot put, high jump, long jump and 1500/800m.
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Motor Boating: This event was held in 1908. Boats completed five laps around an eight-nautical-mile course.
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Pelota Basque: Was only considered an Olympic sport in 1900. Teams hit a ball against a wall of a 2-walled court, using one's hands, a wooden bat or a racquet.
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Polo: A team sport played on horseback. Riders score goals by using long-handled mallet to knock a wooden/plastic ball into the opponent's goal.
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Rackets: An indoor sport related to squash. Players use wooden racquets to hit a hard white ball at the wall. The ball must hit the wall above 26.5 inches.
The opponent then hits the ball on the volley, or after it bounces on the floor once. A point is score when the opponent misses, fails to hit above the specified height,
or if the ball bounces on the floor more than one time.
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Rowing/Sculls: Individual or team sport in which athletes race each other in sweep-oar or a coxed boat. The athletes face backwards and propel the boat forward
using oars. In rowing, the oars are held steady at their pivot point. This creates more propulsion, and thus creates more speed through the water.
Sweep or sweep-oar rowing = Each rower has one oar, which they hold with both hands.
Sculling = Each rower has two oars, one held in each hand. It is usually perfomed without a coxswain (the person who steers).
Coxless = Refers to the position of the coxswain; here it means "straight," i.e. the coxswain is seated at the stern.
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Rugby: Two teams of thirteen play this full-contact sport on a rectangular field with prolate spheriod-shaped ball. Each team is responsible for defending their
half of the field, and each team takes turns defending and attacking. The object of the attacking team is to get the ball out of their own territory, towards the opponent's
in-goal area. From there, a team member can score a try, which is worth four points. A try is when the ball is placed within the opponent's in-goal area, or on the try-line.
In some cases, a team will opt to kick a one-point field goal instead of going for a try.
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Sailing: Controlling a sailing water vessel by using the power of the wind. There are a variety of boat lengths, weights and styles that compete in the Olympics.
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Shooting: Firing guns a variety of targets. Different types of guns are used, as well as different sizes of targets.
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Soccer: Two teams of eleven players kick and pass a ball around a rectangular field. The object is to kick the ball into the opponent's goal. Except for the goal
tender, players are not allowed to use their hands. They may, however, use any other part of their body to move the ball down the field.
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Softball: 2008 is the final year for softball as an Olympic sport. Softball is similar to baseball, except the ball used in play is much lighter. Softball games
only last seven innings (instead of nine).
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Swimming: Movement through water without artificial assistance.
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Synchronised Swimming: Swimmers perfom a synchronised routine of acrobatic/dance moves in the water, usually accompanied by music.
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Table Tennis: Two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth, on a hard table, divided by a net. The ball may only bounce on the table one time,
and may not leave the table. A point is scored when a player fails to return a ball, or hits a ball out of bounds.
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Taekwondo: A Korean martial art. In the Olympics, only sparring is allowed, which is a relatively "free form" type of fighting. Two fighters bout in three,
two-minute rounds, with 30-second breaks in between each round. Points are awarded for legal, accurate technique.
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Tennis: Two players or teams of two use a strung racquet to hit a hollow ball back and forth over a net. Service alternates between both sides of the court,
with each player taking turns serving and recieving the ball. The players then volley the ball to each other until the ball goes out of bounds, if a player misses hitting
the ball, or if the ball bounces multiple times on one side of the court. The ball is only allowed to bounce once before it must be hit back over the net. A player
also may not hit the ball twice to get it over the net.
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Track and Field: General categories that is comprised of running, throwing and jumping. Events include: short-distance running, marathon running, discus throwing,
pole vaulting, hurdles, long-distance walking, and high jumping.
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Triathlon: An endurance event that consists of swimming, biking and running. For the Olympics, the swim is 1.5 km (0.93 mi), the cycling leg is 40 km (24.85 mi) long,
and the running leg is 10 km (6.21 mi) long.
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Tug of War: Two teams pull on opposite ends of a rope in a test of strength.
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Volleyball: Two teams of two or six players hit a ball over a high net, and try to ground the ball on the opponent's court. Points are also scored when a team commits
a foul or fault. The ball can only be touched three times by a team before it goes over the net. The first team to reach 25 points in wins a set, and three sets wins a match.
There are two types of volleyball: indoor and beach. Beach volleyball is played on sand, and indoor volleyball is played on a concrete court.
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Water Polo: Two teams of seven compete against each other in a pool. The object is to advance the ball down the pool and score a goal in the opponent's goal.
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Weightlifting: Athletes attempt to lift a maximum weight in either a single (weight) lift or a barbel lift. The athlete must have a clean lift in order for it to count,
i.e. the arms must be straight when the weight is over the athlete's head.
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Wrestling: Two unarmed persons of similar weight strive to take control over each other. There are two types of wrestling:
Greco-Roman = A wrestler may not grab the other person below the waist, nor can they trip or excessively use their legs to bring the other person down to the mat.
Freestyle = A wrestler may use any legal technique to pin their opponent to the mat.
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Winter Sports

Alpine Skiing: Sliding on top of snow with long skis attached to each foot. This category is divided into several sub-categories, including racing, freestyle
and snowboarding. The racing disciplines are: Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super Giant Slalom, and the Downhill. Freestyle skiing is comprised of moguls, aerials, and halfpipe.
Slalom = Skiing between gates/poles that are spaced close together, causing sharp turns.
Giant Slalom = The same as slalom except that the gates are spaced further apart. Skiers ski around 56-70 gates (for men) or 46-58 gates (for women).
Super Giant Slalom = The gates are spaced even further apart than they are in Giant Slalom, and the speeds in this race are greater. The minimum number of gates is
35 for men and 30 for women.
Downhill Skiing = The speedy decent down a mountainside or hillside. The highest speeds in skiing are reached during the downhill races.
Alpine Combined = One downhill run and two slalom runs.
Moguls = Skiers pass between large, closely-spaced bumps.
Aerials = Performing acrobatic tricks while on skis, after going down a large ramp/jump.
Ski Jump = Skiers go down a large take-off ramp or jump in an attempt to fly as far as possible.
Half Pipe = A type of structure resembling the cross-section of a swimming pool. Skiers/snowboarders ski back and forth, and perform tricks in the air. Points are awarded
based on the number and difficulty of tricks that a skier performs.
Snowboard Cross or Boardercross = several riders race down a course, lined with obstacles such as rails, jumps, drops and turns.
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Biathlon: A combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
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Bobsleigh: Teams of two or four race down a narrow, iced track in a sled, making tight turns and banks.
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Curling: A similar sport to shuffleboard, played on ice. Teams of two or four take turns sliding heavy stones down the ice, towards a target. Other members
of the team use brooms to help direct or stop the stone in/near the target.
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Figure Skating: Also referred to as "ice dancing." Individuals or a team of skaters performs acrobatics while ice skating. Points are awarded based on
the execution and difficulty of the tricks.
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Ice Hockey: Teams of six, wearing ice skates, pass and shoot a rubber disc around an ice rink. The goal is to hit the puck into the opponent's net, in
order to score points.
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Lugeing: One or two people race a sled down an iced track, in an effort to be as fast as possible. Riders can either go down the track
feet-first or head first, depending on the race. In "regular" luge, riders go down feet-first, and sleds are equipped with steering.
Skeleton = One person races down the track, head-first. There are no steering or braking mechanisms on the sled.
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Nordic Skiing: A type of skiing where the heel of the boot cannot be connected to the ski. Nordic skiing includes sprinting, cross-country skiing
and ski jumping.
Nordic Combined = A combination of cross-country skiing and ski jumping.
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Speed Skating: Skaters race each other around a circular track, over a variety of distances. It is performed on two different sized rinks, hence the
names, "short track speed skating," or "long track speed skating."
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