In 1906 and 1912, the bar for athletic ability was so low that Olympic sharpshooters drew crowds by pretending to duel with giant dolls clothed in men's fancy dress.
The brutish ancestor of ribbon dancing, club swinging was an Olympic gymnastic event in 1904 and 1932. For four minutes at a time, club swingers swayed and dipped a ribbon-festooned bowling pin around their bodies.
Olympic swimming competitions like the 100m breaststroke or 400m medley may no longer pose quite the challenge they once did. To up the ante, consider bringing back the 1900 Paris Summer Games' “Swimming Obstacle Course.”
In 1908, Great Britain managed to slip three motorboat races into the Olympic Games. But bad weather forced most of the competitors to give up mid-race, leaving the gold medal to the only two boats that finished.
A long-lived event that ended only in 1932, the Olympic rope climb required athletes to shimmy up an 8-meter rope and whack a tambourine.
In 1900, a Belgian sharpshooter named Leon de Lunden killed 21 pigeons to win the gold medal in live pigeon shooting.