top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Playing games with sport

The Olympic Games (coming to Paris in 2024) used to be a simple set up consisting, originally, of boxing, chariot racing, fighting (Pankration), pentathlon, running and wrestling.

The 1896 Games had nine sports but the 2020 Games will have 33. The list for Paris may well beat that but it is impossible not to notice that the difference between a sport and an Olympic sport is somewhat arbitrary. It partly depends on the definition of a game and a sport but also on what is likely to draw in young urban spectators.

Dancing and wake-boarding (a kind of water-skiing – hardly a sport available to the masses) are under consideration whereas cricket has never cut the mustard (it was played once in 1900 and that was that).

While we should be grateful croquet, motor boating and tug-of-war are no longer in the programme, it is worth asking whether there are not too many events and whether pastimes deserve Olympic status. Golf, climbing and surfing obviously have aficionados but are they in the same league as core sports of athletics, swimming and gymnastics? It is heresy to say it, but pétanque (one possible for Paris, see page 5) belongs under the plane trees of France’s boulodromes and village squares, not in an international competition.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France