In 1896, the Olympics were first celebrated in Athens, Greece, and only reserved for men. Women were admitted in 1900 as participants in sports that were considered to be compatible with their femininity and fragility, but were excluded from the showpiece events of track and field. The sports that were played in 1896 were swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo, road cycling, track cycling, artistic gymnastics, and Greco-Roman wrestling. During this time, the most difficult and honorable sport was considered to be wrestling.
In 2020, “the most difficult summer sports are the decathlon, rowing, marathon, boxing, and water polo.” Returning to the field are softball and baseball, which last took place in 2008. The new sports that are going to be in the 2020 Olympics are karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. “The first step for a sport to become an Olympic event is recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC requires the activity to be administered by an international nongovernmental organization that oversees at least one sport. Once a sport is recognized, it then moves to International Sports Federation (IF) status. At that point, the international organization administering the sport must enforce the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code, including conducting effective out-of-competition tests on the sport’s competitors while maintaining rules set forth by the Olympic Charter. A sport may gain IOC recognition but not become a competing event at the Olympic Games” (“How Are Sports Chosen for the Olympics?”). The moment that the committee decides the sport meets the correct requirements, the Olympic competitors get hard at work.
Olympic athletes are some of the hardest workers out there. People who go to the Olympics don’t just love the sport they’re competing in, they live it and often dedicate most of their life toward trying to reach their goal of winning an Olympic medal. When Olympians are preparing for the Games, the amount of time they spend training is different for everyone and varies based on the sport the athlete and the time of the year. Most athletes have already been training for years, or even decades. Olympic athletes complete traditional training for their sport, but they also train in other ways, like cross fit.