Popular Sports of the Olympic Games


Table of Contents



Weightlifting is a sport as old as mankind. You need a combination of power and strength, speed and concentration as well as timing.

Women were allowed to lift weights for the first time at the 2000 Olympics.




Athletics is about running faster, jumping higher and throwing further than other athletes. It is the heart of the games. Today , the most popular events are athletic: the 100 m dash, the long jump or the marathon.



In today’s Olympics , men and women compete in 16 events each. The fastest swimmers compete in the freestyle race. There are also relay races for 4 swimmers.

figure skating


The Dutch were the first to skate across frozen rivers and canals. Very quickly the sport spread to other parts of Europe and North America. Today there are two main skating events : speed skating and figure skating.




Equestrian events were held for the first time in 1900. In the past only military officers could take part. Today there are three disciplines: Jumping, dressage and eventing.



Gymnastics have a long and proud history. The sport goes back to the ancient games , where young men were prepared for war.

Today athletes compete on the floor, pommel horse, balance beam, rings etc.


Online Exercises




  • balance beam =along narrow wooden board on which gymnasts perform
  • compete = to take part
  • dash =very quick and short race
  • dressage = a horse rider performs many complicated movements with his horse
  • equestrian = everything that is about horse-riding
  • eventing = a sport in which horses do three things on three different days
  • freestyle = you can swim any way you want
  • mankind = all the people together
  • pommel horse =an object that has two handles on top which you jump or swing your body over gymnasts
  • prepare =to practice for an event
  • proud =to be very pleased or happy about something
  • relay = 4 swimmers swim in a team—one after the other
  • spread =to move from one place to another
  • strength =power
  • timing = to do something at the right time