10 Bizarre Olympic Events


Hot Air Ballooning

Considered to have been a demonstration sport -- a sporting event held during the Olympics, but not technically considered an official sport of the games -- hot air ballooning enthusiasts saw their hopes of becoming official rise and fall all during the 1900 Olympic Games. All in all, 61 men and 3 women competed in ballooning, which consisted of 18 events. Judges marked contestants on various points, like distance, duration and elevation.

Hot air ballooning hasn't been the only odd aerial sport of note at the games. Kite flying debuted in 1900, while canon shooting and pigeon shooting were given a shot in the same year. Spectators would have done well to seek cover when these guys got going.

On a related note, the chaotic 1900 games garnered two world records of its own. A grand total of 58,731 athletes participated in 34 overall sport categories -- both the highest ever recorded [source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement]. The Paris Games were also epic in length, stretching from May 14 to Oct. 28. Of course, all that time left extra room for more bizarre events ...