An Analysis of the 7 Least Popular Olympic Sports

Ever wondered how many sports are included in the Olympic sports list? Well, there are 40 summer and winter sports included in the upcoming Olympics list! In this blog, we will discuss the least popular sports that are featured in the Olympics. We bet you haven’t heard about some of these exciting yet weird sports. Give a read and decide for yourself!


This ball sport is a crazy combination of basketball and football, where two teams of seven players each compete to throw a ball through a goalpost net. Handball is a part of the Summer Olympics since 1936.

What I find unique about this sport is that body contact is allowed which makes it a very physically tough sport. Offensive strategies are supported in the game of handball. Fun fact: Americans have never won in the game of handball.

2.3×3 Basketball

If you are a basketball fan like me, then you will be as shocked as me upon learning about this adaptation of basketball that is featured in the Olympics!

3×3 basketball game is a fast-paced version of the original basketball which makes it exciting to watch – with 3 players in each team and half the size of the full basketball court. In this Olympic game, a team can win by two different ways – either by scoring a greater number of points after 10 minutes or if a team score 21 points.

The 3×3 version has its origins in the US around 1980 in urban areas, specifically popular as a backyard and park game.   As a kid, I loved watching basketball games and I was fan of basketball players. I always wanted to make a goal but I was too short to reach it!

No Title

No Description


This winter Olympic sport had its first races with the use of skeleton sleds that were made of wood. Over the passage of time, they were replaced with steel sleds that came to be known as bobsleighs. This can be played as a solo sport or in teams of 2 or 4.

Players make timed runs down the special bobsleigh tracks – that are rotating, banked, iced tracks in a sled. This is one of the crazy, adventurous sports that not everyone can master – at least not me!


When I think of fencing the term ‘Battle of swords’ comes to mind. This is one of the ancient sports out there that have adapted with the modern times with three disciplines, namely – the foil, the épée, and the sabre. Each type discipline has its own kind of sword blade and different rules for each game.

However, it is one of the least popular sports despite the rich history of sword fighting. Fencing involves two players engage in a game of attack and defense with a point system format. With the aim to strike the opponent to score points. Surely fun to watch but not as much fun to engage in!


I bet most of you haven’t heard of this Olympic sport which uses the strangest set of equipment.

Curling is a team sport played between teams of two with four players on a sheet of ice! The equipment used for this game includes a curling broom, rock (or stone) and special curling shoes. Players score points by getting the rocks closer to the button or the house center than the opponent’s rocks, with alternating turns. There are eight rocks assigned to each team. This is surely one of the weirdest sports out there that I have discovered. Strangely enough, it makes me want to try it out.

7.Sport Climbing

A modern adaptation of the traditional rock-climbing game – sports climbing consists of three types: boulder, lead and speed climbing. There are different rules for each discipline involving the use of ropes, without ropes and timed rounds.

In all of the kinds, players climb up an artificial wall. Rock climbing is a classic recreational activity. I highly recommend this sport if you love rock climbing!

FAQs regarding Olympic sports

Q. How many sports in total are featured in the Olympics?

40 sports are part of the 2024 Summer and 2026 Winter Olympic games.

Q. What are the new sports that are added in the 2024 Olympic list?

The 2024 Olympic games feature new sports: breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing

Q. Is cricket an Olympic sport?

Cricket is yet to become an Olympic sport. It has been proposed to be part of the next 2028 Olympic games.

Q. What are the 3 types of fencing?

The 3 disciplines of fencing are the foil, the épée, and the sabre (or saber).

Author’s Opinion

These least popular Olympic sports may be underrated but these are some of the unique and exciting sports that one should try out for sure! My top picks to try out are Curling and sport climbing!

What do you think?

Written by Usama

Usama J. is a passionate writer about the sports and works as an in house sports journalist at Openiun, and covered many international sporting events including ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.