most popular olympic sports

In this blog, we are going to talk about the most popular Olympic Sports. The Olympic Games, when the top athletes from many nations fight for the highly sought-after Olympic medals, are eagerly anticipated by the entire world. The 35 sports that make up the most popular Olympic sports are as follows, ranking from most to least popular.

One of the most anticipated sporting events in the world is the Olympic Games. As far as we are aware, it occurs every alternate four years. Throughout the Olympics, a variety of well-known sporting events are held. It turns out that the Olympic Games do not have events for every sport played worldwide.

Additionally, not every Olympic game draws a sizable audience or a lot of attention. The Tokyo Olympics 2020 are about to start, and athletes worldwide are excitedly anticipating it. So let’s dive right in and discover which 10 Olympic sports are currently and historically the most popular worldwide.

List of the Top 10 Most Popular Olympic Sports

S.NOOlympic Sports Name
3Track and Field
4Water Sports
5volleyball (court and beach)
7Soccer or Association Football

1. Gymnastics 

Gymnastics is the most popular Olympic sport, despite not breaking box office records or making headlines on television. Since the inaugural modern Summer Olympic Games in 1896, it has been a part of the competition.

The majority of sports in the world require athletes to be physically fit to play well. But very few sports necessarily call for great technique, athleticism, and originality.

One of these sports happens to be gymnastics. The contestants in this sport display their extreme physical fitness by pulling off nearly unachievable exploits that need strong body control and flexibility.

2. Swimming:

Swimming is One of the most popular Olympic sports that comes to mind when we think of the Olympics. None other than Michael Phelps is the name. Hopefully, it is now evident that we are discussing Swimming, one of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports.

People wait to see this event since it is so highly valued during this time. In all the events that fall under this discipline’s separate categories, athletes of both genders compete.

Each event has a set of specified strokes. Swimming strokes such as the backstroke, butterfly, freestyle, and breaststroke are all included in the overall discipline. 

3. Track and Field

The ancient Greek Olympics are where athletic competitions got their start. The largest sport in terms of participants and events is athletics. Watching the fastest men and women in the world give it their all on the tracks is always exciting.

Athletics, the largest Olympic athletic discipline, is divided into three categories: track, field, and road events.

The evaluation is based on the straightforward principle that the runner who crosses the finish line the fastest wins the gold. It needs extreme physical fitness as well as precisely coordinated bodily balance at speed.

4. Water Sports:

Rafting, diving, and similar water sports are available. Swimming is not included in the category because it is a sizable category by itself.

The audience’s eyes become fixated on the screen when watching water sports for whatever reason. Get lost in the realm of Olympic water sports, where aquatic athleticism is the main focus.

These sports combine skill, strength, and strategy, from the beautiful dips of swimming to the fierce collisions of water polo. 

5. Volleyball (court and beach):

One of the most popular Olympic sports, volleyball has won the hearts of many people all over the world to the point that they not only enjoy watching it but also greatly enjoy participating in it.

In this well-known sport, there are two teams, each with six players, and the goal is to score as many points as possible.

Except during the Olympics, volleyball does not have a sufficient audience. There are six players from each team on the court in this sport. There can be a maximum of twelve people on each squad. 

6. Basketball:

In the list of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, basketball comes in at number six. In 1936, the sport was first included in the Olympic program for men.

But in 1976, the Olympics added women’s basketball for the first time after being absent for 40 years.

The intriguing aspect is that NBA favorites of basketball fans won’t be playing for their respective clubs during this time. Instead, the athletes return to their own countries to compete for those nations. 

7. Soccer or Association Football

It should come as no surprise that football is one of the most popular Olympic sports to date given that it is one of the most watched sports in the entire world.

Women’s soccer didn’t take part in the Olympics throughout the game’s early years; that didn’t happen until the 1996 Summer Olympics.

8. Tennis:

Tennis has grown significantly over the past several years as all the great stars have started to participate in competitions. Tennis superstars like Serena Williams and the top three players, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, draw sizable crowds wherever they go.

This is also true during the Olympics. Tennis is normally played by two teams of two players. The goal of the game is to score points by launching the ball through a net and onto the court of the opponent. 

9. Weightlifting:

During the Games, Olympic weightlifting is yet another hugely popular spectator favorite.

Each weightlifter is given three attempts, and the final standings in a bodyweight category are based on the sum of the two highest successful lifts.

Each champion earns the distinction of being the most powerful athlete in their particular bodyweight division. In addition to “snatch,” there is also a performance technique called “clean and jerk.”

This implies that after raising the bar to the chest, it is pulled over the head.  

10. Rugby:

Rugby is a sport that gained a lot of international recognition during the Olympics. As a result, it earns a spot in the top 10 most popular Olympic sports. This game aims to kick an oval-shaped ball into the opposition’s end of the field’s goal line.

Through diverse activities including sprinting, passing, and kicking the ball, the sportsmen accomplish this mission. There are 15 players on each team or side. Athletes of both sexes are welcome to compete.


Certainly! The top 10 most popular Olympic sports are a reflection of global athleticism and viewership. Athletics, including track and field events, captures the essence of the Olympics.

Gymnastics showcases grace and strength, while swimming draws immense attention with its thrilling races.

Soccer’s widespread appeal is evident, along with basketball’s high-flying action. The endurance test of cycling and the strategic intensity of tennis also make the list.

Diving and its stunning aerial displays, along with volleyball’s dynamic team play, complete the lineup. These sports unite people worldwide, celebrating the pinnacle of human skill and determination on the grand stage of the Olympic Games.

Also check out the most popular sports in India – Top 15

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