#2. Underwater Swimming
We're starting to think the 1900 Olympics were all a mean-spirited practical joke on the part of the French. As evidence of that claim, we present yet another debut event: underwater swimming. Pretty self explanatory, really: competitors swam underwater for time and distance. Sound boring? It's worse than you think: Remember that this was way before the advent of the waterproof camera, so actually watching the event consisted of staring at a river for a few minutes, and then asking your kid to stop crying or you'll take him back to the pelota match. Luckily, for entertainment's sake, the organizers made one big mistake: They held it in a river with a crazily strong current. Fourteen brave souls volunteered to swim in the event. Only two made it the 60 meters in under a minute.
Via Wiki Commons
What's the opposite of inspiring? This is that.
Obviously, underwater swimming was cut immediately: Spectators complained about the event because they couldn't see who was winning or how they were progressing in the murky water, and the only way to tell it was finished was when everybody either climbed out of the water to towel off, or the search and rescue teams arrived.
"Hooray! Something memorable!"
#1. Solo Synchronized swimming
But not everything is the fault of turn-of-the-century Frenchmen (God, we never thought we'd say that). Enter the 1984 Olympics. Desperately needing to add to the programs, the IOC finally gave in to the appeals of the synchronized swimming groups and added a duet competition. Synchronized swimming is the only thing in the world that operates inverse to the natural law of homoeroticism: It actually gets more gay the fewer wet, mostly-naked members of the same sex there are dancing together. Need proof?
We don't really need to elaborate any further: The title of the sport itself is one of the most perfectly self-contained jokes we've ever seen. But in the interest of completeness, we shall forge bravely ahead. The sport amazingly continued in two more Olympic games after its debut, before ultimately being dropped after the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Listed reasons for the cut: low spectator appeal, confusing scoring systems and the distracting, raucous laughter of the judges as they watched someone put on their serious face and then dance alone in a pool for two minutes.
The definition of the term "serious face" varies.