Top 10 Olympic Sports to Watch

There are many sports in the world and everyone has a personal favourite but when Olympic gold medals are at stake, not to mention your country’s honour, sports can be quite thrilling to spectate when competition becomes fierce.

Here are the top ten Olympic sports, they aren’t in any particular order but they are ten of the best.


Everybody can take part in sports, even young children can play football and basketball but it takes real practice and flexibility to be a true gymnast. The unreal-looking twists and turns are perfected from childhood and gymnastics can be really fun to watch as gymnasts constantly push themselves to their physical limits, once you think they can’t push it anymore, they still amaze you!

The top gymnast to win the most medals in gymnastics is Simone Biles, from the USA, who won 25 world title medals. Although America has some talented gymnasts, the most medals won by a country from 1896 to 2016 was Russia with 72 gold, 67 silver and 43 bronze making a total of 182 medals, a lot more than the runner-up, America, having 114 medals, although both are still fantastic achievements.

Gymnastics is one of the most watched events in the Olympic games.


Nothing beats a fast-paced sprint during the Olympic Games and this event is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. There are three different kinds of tracks in this event: the 100 meters, 200m and the 400m although the original track called the stadium was 180m long.

An interesting point to note is that the early Olympic Games held in Greece from 776 BC to 724 BC only consisted of a race as there were no other events, although discus and javelin throwing games later on.

Even though the Olympics have very ancient origins, the women’s sprint was only added to the event in 1928! It is only natural that with the evolution of sportswear and better trainers, runners have been able to reach higher speeds than before and some stunning world records have come out of this. The 100m sprint champion is Usain Bolt who started at a breathtaking speed of 41 km/h (which is around 25 miles per hour).

Sprinting has always been one of the best events to watch, the sheer rivalry and fast-paced action are not found in many other events.

Olympic Basketball

Ball games are loved all over the world regardless of age and Olympic basketball can be quite entertaining to spectate. Men’s basketball has been a part of the Olympics since 1936 but the women’s event came much later in 1976. The undefeated champions of Olympic basketball of all time are the United States with Argentina being the only other country in existence which has won a basketball event.

The United States continue to excel in both men's and women’s basketball events and we have yet to see if anyone can break that record, the Soviet Union did win a game in 1972 but the country no longer exists (the USSR consisted of the following present-day countries: Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, all of which are the birthplaces of many great athletes). The sport is fairly new and was invented in 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield, USA; this probably explains why Americans are so good at the sport as they are the pioneers of the game.


Combat sports are extremely satisfying to view and competitors engaged in combat have been enjoyed since the days of ancient Rome where gladiators were pitted against each other in brutal martial contests which were fought to the death. Nowadays modern combat sports are a lot less bloody, which means that they are entertaining to watch.

Judo was first seen in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo but for some reason left out in the 1968 games; since then, however, it has remained a part of the Olympic Games consistently. Women’s Judo became official in 1992.

Spectacular throws and well-trained contestants make Judo a very enjoyable sport to watch.


If you enjoy the fast-paced element of sprinting, then it is highly likely that cycling is going to be on your list of favourite Olympic sports too. Cycling has been part of the Olympics since 1896 and has been followed by other variations such as mountain bike racing and BMX racing. The British cyclist Brady Wiggins has won the most medals an individual cyclist has ever won but France holds the title of most medals a country has won; so it turns out that the Tour de France is good practice for the Olympics too!

All in all, cycling is an adrenaline-fueled sport and is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat until the finishing line is passed.


Volleyball is a much-loved sport albeit a simple one and a very popular event at the Olympics. It has been part of the games since 1964 and is played by both men and women. There are two variations of this, one being regular volleyball and the other being beach volleyball as part of the summer Olympics.

Different sports allow various countries to shine and Brazil do well in volleyball. Both men and women from the Brazillian teams have won many gold medals in the event, not surprising considering the stunning golden beaches they have to practice on back home.


Olympic swimming is a massive event and is one of the most popular sports at the Olympic Games. Swimming has been around for a long time but women’s swimming became a part of the Olympics in 1912. The USA team perform superbly in swimming and has won 246 gold medals as opposed to the 60 gold medals Australia has who are second place in the world for Olympic swimming.

Swimming is fast paced water sport and is quite enjoyable to observe, it has all the thrills of racing but with an underwater element.


Badminton is a very competitive sport and although it looks simple enough to play, it involves a high level of skill and requires extensive training. The sport varies from other net sports as a shuttlecock is used instead of a ball and since the shuttlecock is made using feathers, it flies swiftly once struck making it quite difficult to follow while spectating. Nevertheless, badminton is a highly enjoyable sport to watch at the Olympics.

The country that has won the most medals in badminton is China. Chinese athletes have proven to be masters at the sport; badminton is a well-loved sport in China. Experts are still trying to work out today why the Chinese are so good at the sport. Perhaps it is the dedication to the game and training, or a natural gift, or both!


Lifting weights for your country adds a new dimension to heavy work out and competition is fierce as athletes attempt to break records and lift huge weights. Not everyone can lift massive weights and therefore makes this event quite fun to watch, it can be seen how much the human body can be pushed to achieve something. The top two countries which have excelled in weightlifting throughout history are China and the Soviet Union (the location of which now covers the countries mentioned earlier).

While watching the event, you can almost feel the tension of the weights yourself as the competitors lift huge barbells which are excruciatingly heavy.

Figure skating

Watching graceful skaters on ice has been enjoyed for centuries and contestants continue to amaze the masses with all sorts of fabulous moves. There are different variations of this event: men’s singles, ladies' singles, pair skating and ice dance. Unsurprisingly, in countries where the winters are colder, the skaters tend to excel and are known to be some of the best, figure skaters from Russia have become very famous indeed.

Figure skating involves various jumps and spins and takes years of practice to perfect, this isn’t regular ice skating. Some events consist of single contestants and others have a team of synchronised skaters. All in all, figure skating is a very elegant sport and entertaining to watch.

These are the top ten Olympic sports to watch, this list is sure to enlighten you on what to watch if you don’t already spectate the whole event. Other sports are great too, but these are the most viewed and the best according to many people.