Your favorite obscure olympic sports

With the wonders of a live feed of all events, it means you can choose to watch sports that NBC doesn’t deem popular enough to use in their main coverage (or even in the secondary cable networks).

I’ve been watching handball. It’s unknown in the US, but probably would be popular if it had ever gained a foothold. It’s a cross between basketball and soccer, played indoors with a soccer goal (though smaller) and goalkeeper. There’s a good deal of scoring and some nice athleticism in the shots. It’s also a very physical game.

I assume it’s popular outside the US, and it’s unlikely to gain a foothold here, but I’m enjoying it.

Any other favorites that most people don’t get a chance to see?

That’s EXACTLY the “obscure” sport I like!

I like the rifle & pistol shooting. It’s hard finding tv coverage.

We got a pretty good pistol team this year.

Whats the link for a live feed?

Think I found it. The NBC live feed? Have to enter your cable or satellite subscription info?

Handball, followed by field hockey. Although the men’s team archery was pretty exciting today.

Judo isn’t exactly obscure, but you never see it on TV. You can watch it online, of course, but the tournaments begin at 4:30 AM. I am currently on very little sleep.

Yes. The URL is

I watched some of the archery, too.

I always like the sports that are essentially un-televisable. I was just watching the women’s foil event in the sport of fencing, and I see that they’ve sexed it up with LED indicators in the face masks and so forth. But to the untrained eye it is still basically impossible to tell the difference between a successful lunge and an unsuccessful one. Even on the slow motion replays, I just see the fencers poking bendy bits of metal at each other, and apparently one of them lands a hit while the other doesn’t.

(thought I posted this earlier) I don’t have cable so don’t have much opportunity to see non mainstream sports. But NBC must have been desperate because today they aired rowing and water polo (granted the US was in most of that, but still). Also they showed most if not all of the road cycling events (though there were some US contenders in there as well)


Shooting, archery. Those at least have some US medalists so they get shown on cable on one of the NBC channels. Harder to find are sports where the US have no chance in like Badminton and Table Tennis. I would have to watch a few hours of of those but they’re relegated to NBC’s sports channel which I don’t get

Wow, I have never heard of this sport, very interesting. All the more so because here in Ireland the sport of Handball is a very different game altogether, played similar to squash or racquetball. For example:

I wonder how common it is for two different sports to have the same name?

well, there IS football…

I found this team handball video

“Fastest growing sport” :confused: Percentagewise maybe - though I can see the appeal. Disadvantages are too much contact for kids, and with no breaks hard to televise.


I love badminton, in part because a lot of the olympians Canada’s produced have come from my club. I don’t know if counts as obscure, but it’s pretty much never on TV, being tennis’s nerdy younger sister that likes to stay indoors. :slight_smile:

Maybe not obscure enough, but I like the bad-ass nature of the modern pentathlon. It’s the one event that prepares you in case there’s some kind of mutant apocalypse.

Speed walking. Seriously fun to watch. But they NEVER air it.

Curling! Winter sport, but once you understand the basics, it’s very engaging.

Equestrian events, especially dressage - they seem really reluctant to showcase that one. I find it fascinating.

Rhythmic Gymnastics - it seems like they used to air footage of it back in the 80s and just gave up, for whatever reason.

I don’t know if I would say it is always my favorite, but the team archery tournament yesterday was riveting all the way up until the final arrow. In fact that final arrow might just be the most intense sporting event moment I have experienced in a long while, but if you didn’t watch the USA knock out Korea in dramatic fashion and then know about Italy’s long bought of futility with the team tournament and then see them almost certainly blow the gold only to catch half the 10 point line on that final arrow it might not have been nearly as exciting.

I also really enjoyed watching the women’s foil fencing.

I enjoy watching the gymnastics game. It was something that a lot of practice and it is same for all other games. No special reason but just love to watch.

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Let’s see, in the US, at least, back in 2008 NBC broadcast the entire walking event, start to finish, live. Since it was live, it was in the middle of the night, but the whole thing was broadcast.

I’ve seen dressage broadcast both days of competition thus far, I think it was on NBC’s afternoon coverage Sunday, and probably NBC Sports on Saturday.

I’ve seen plenty of rhythmic gymnastics in the past couple of games, I see no real reason to expect less this time around.

Yes, if you limit yourself to just what NBC puts in it’s primetime broadcast, you’re going to get swimming and gymnastics right now, but really, between NBC, NBC Sports and MSNBC alone they put out somewhere around 40 hours of coverage per day, and it’s not going down that much over the week–chances are if you’re not seeing the events you want, either you’re not looking hard enough, or you don’t have the right cable package.

I like how they are assigned horses at random in the show jumping part, which correct me if I’m wrong doesn’t happen in other equestrian events. Makes for some interesting rounds as riders wrestle with uncooperative mounts.