Equestrian is a long-standing Olympic sport. Elephant Polo has no place in the Olympics. Endurance sports include racing, riding, and jogging. These are all common ways to find an active lifestyle without spending all your time at the gym.
Endurance events are commonly found at the national level in countries that have strong equestrian traditions and at the continental level within the IOC. There are three types of endurance events: team, individual, and combined (team plus individual).
In a team event each country or regional federation can enter a maximum of four athletes per race. The four riders or drivers then compete in two rounds depending on the type of event: a qualifier and a final. In an individual event each rider or driver rides or drives themselves until they reach the end of the course. There is no round structure; instead, each rider or driver decides when it's time to stop. Combined events are like individual races with one exception: the winners of the individual events go into the combined event final together. They must finish the final together as well.
There are three types of endurance events: road, track, and mountain. Road events include the marathon, half-marathon, and 12-hour race.
Endurance sports include long-distance running, cycling, cross-country skiing, triathlon, and long-course swimming. The athlete must maintain a high intensity during the entire duration of the event.
Endurance athletes often use drugs to improve their performance. The most popular drug is caffeine, which increases blood flow to muscles and helps organs such as the heart keep up with longer periods of activity. The banned substance steroid hormones are also used by some athletes to build muscle mass and reduce body fat while keeping immune systems strong. Drug tests for steroids are not routinely performed by many organizations because of the difficulty in detecting these substances in urine or blood samples. However, research has shown that people who take steroids can be identified through their DNA markers found in urine sample containers.
Endurance athletes may also use human growth hormone (HGH). This protein stimulates the body's own production of insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which aids in building muscle mass. In addition, HGH reduces inflammation and relieves pain from injuries. However, there are restrictions on how much HGH an athlete can receive from a third party without being tested by anti-doping agencies.
Finally, some athletes use medications that are legal but have banned compounds within them.
Athletics, fencing, gymnastics, and swimming are the other fundamental sports. Some cycling events, such as the 1,000m sprint and the 4,000m team pursuit, have a lengthy history at the Olympics, while others, like as the Tandem race, have been abandoned or just added.
At the Summer Games, athletics is the most popular sport. The marathon is by far the most prestigious race in the world, with many athletes hoping to break the two-hour mark for their event. Other notable distances are 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres, 1,500 metres, 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres, and 20,000 metres. At the Winter Games, biathlon and cross-country skiing are popular. Both involve shooting range shots made from across the snow using either a rifle, musket, or cross-bow, followed by a run down the piste or hill as far as possible before being judged on time taken.
Gymnastics is an ancient sport that dates back at least 2,000 years. It is mainly played on uneven surfaces, such as grass or clay, and involves skills such as balance, coordination, and dexterity. Gymnasts often use equipment such as bars, rings, and vaulting horses to enhance their performance.
Swimming is another ancient sport that dates back at least 2,300 years.
The sports are all rigorous, and in order to even have a shot at making it to the Olympics, an athlete must have trained in this hard sport for the most of their lives. Athletes are sometimes so consumed by their training that it consumes their entire existence. It is not easy making it to the Olympics; only those who have dedicated themselves to these sports will ever have a chance at winning a medal.
The Olympics are held every four years. In Olympic sports, athletes can become eligible to compete in these events by meeting any one of two requirements: they must have been born after a certain date (which varies by sport) or they must have national team experience. The dates vary from sport to sport. For example, in boxing, you must be born after January 1, 1990; in wrestling, after December 31, 1983; and in swimming or diving, after March 25, 1985.
In some cases, such as gymnastics or athletics, people can become eligible to compete in these events by merely being registered with a national governing body. Such bodies set their own criteria for eligibility. For example, in gymnastics, you need only have represented your country to be considered eligible. There is no requirement that you have any special skills or understanding of how to play these sports.
In other cases, such as tennis or field hockey, people must meet specific skill requirements to be eligible to compete.