6 Lost Olympic Sports: Live Pigeon Shooting
The rules of the game were straightforward: Shoot down as many birds as possible in the allotted time, with two misses resulting in elimination. The event—in which Australia’s Donald MacIntosh [above at the 1900 Paris games] took the bronze—was predictably messy, which may have contributed to pigeon shooting’s brief Olympic life span.
America has refused the Olympic tradition of dipping its flag to the host country since…. 1908.
Most Olympic teams briefly lower their colors as a sign of respect when they march past the box where the host nation’s leaders are seated. The U.S. does not.
When the Americans pick a flag bearer for the 2012 London Olympics this week, he or she almost certainly will be advised to uphold a tradition that dates back more than a century.
According to popular legend, shotputter Ralph Rose set the tone at the 1908 Summer Games — also held in London — when he supposedly proclaimed: “This flag dips for no earthly king.”
[Photo: Mark Grimmette leads the U.S. team into BC Place for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Robert Gauthier/LAT]