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Future Games
Beijing 2008
Vancouver 2010
London 2012


2004 Summer Olympics
Aug. 13 - Aug. 29, 2004


2006 Winter Olympics
Feb. 10 - Feb. 26, 2006

Olympic sports

At the 2004 Olympics, events were held in 28 sports categories, according to the IOC count. If each sport such as aquatics were counted separately, there were 37. Nine sports were on the original Olympic programme in 1896: athletics (track and field), cycling, fencing, gymnastics, weightlifting, shooting, swimming, and wrestling. If the 1896 rowing events had not been cancelled due to bad weather, they would have been included in this list as well.

At the most recent Winter Olympics, seven sports were conducted, or 15 if each sport such as skiing and skating is counted. Of these, cross country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating have been featured on the programme at all Winter Olympics. In addition, figure skating and ice hockey also have been contested as part of the Summer Games before the introduction of separate Winter Olympics.

In recent years, the IOC has added several new sports to the programme to attract attention from young spectators. Examples of such sports include snowboarding and beach volleyball. The growth of the Olympics also means that some less popular (modern pentathlon) or expensive (white water canoeing) sports may lose their place on the Olympic programme. The IOC decided to discontinue baseball and softball beginning in 2012.

Rule 48.1 of the Olympic Charter requires that there be a minimum of 15 Olympic sports at each Summer Games. Following its 114th Session (Mexico 2002), the IOC also decided to limit the programme of the Summer Games to a maximum of 28 sports, 301 events, and 10,500 athletes. The Olympic sports are defined as those governed by the International Federations listed in Rule 46 of the Olympic Charter. A two-thirds vote of the IOC is required to amend the Charter to promote a Recognised Federation to Olympic status and therefore make the sports it governs eligible for inclusion on the Olympic programme. Rule 47 of the Charter requires that only Olympic sports may be included in the programme.

The IOC reviews the Olympic programme at the first Session following each Olympiad. A simple majority is required for an Olympic sport to be included in the Olympic programme. Under the current rules, an Olympic sport not selected for inclusion in a particular Games remains an Olympic sport and may be included again later with a simple majority. At the 117th IOC Session, 26 sports were included in the programme for London 2012.

Until 1992, the Olympics also often featured demonstration sports. The objective was for these sports to reach a larger audience; the winners of these events are not official Olympic champions. These sports were sometimes sports popular only in the host nation, but internationally known sports have also been demonstrated. Some demonstration sports eventually were included as full-medal events.

Olympic Summer Games
2012 XXX London
2008 XXIX Beijing
2004 XXVIII Athens
2000 XXVII Sydney
1996 XXVI Atlanta
1992 XXV Barcelona
1988 XXIV Seoul
1984 XXIII Los Angeles
Olympic Winter Games
2010 XXI Vancouver
2006 XX Turin
2002 XIX Salt Lake City
1998 XVIII Nagano
1994 XVII Lillehammer
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