Wed 14 July 2021 | 4:30

Top 10 most popular Olympic sports

As the postponed Tokyo Olympic 2020 is ever more creeping, it has sports fans all over the world flattering their hearts, starting from the opening ceremony all the way to their favourite games; but it seems that some Olympic sports are more popular than the others. Let's take a look at them.

While the Olympic Games is one the most anticipated sporting events throughout the world, the anticipation for this Tokyo Olympics took longer in the face of the crippling Corona Virus Pandemic.

On three occasions, the summer Olympics did not take place in its scheduled time, in world war one from 1915-18, in world war two during 1940-1945 and most unfortunately this year due to the devastating Pandemic.

Hence, it turned the world upside down as it was conducive to postponement and cancellation of almost all the events on the 2020 sports calendar including the summer Olympics.

But now anticipation has come to its end as it would be held in 2021. While sports fans have not only missed the sports that keep them all glued to the TV during every Olympic Games, but also those cheerful moments of grinding their teeth for their favourite athletes to score an Olympic medal for their country and above all, those nationalistic pride when their fellow countryman wins a gold medal at Olympics, despite all the cynicism that might exist about their nations political systems.

At the same time, there are a number of sports that fans arguably follows more ardently than the others and they are considered to be the

Most Popular Sports of the Olympic Games


Therefore it is no wonder to suggest some conspicuous pieces of evidence measuring their popularity like Twitter Mentions, IOC Website Traffic, Published Articles and Topend Sports Poll, according to which, our ranking the Top 10 Olympic Sports to watch is arranged.

Top 10 most popular Olympic sports

Here we would take you through the list of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports or better say most watched Olympic sports.


Despite the fact that Rugby was added to the summer Olympics just in 2016, the sport is assumed to be among the

top 10 most popular Olympic sports

involving players of all ages and genders.

Notwithstanding its 15 member version presence in Olympics between the years 1900 and 1924, when Rugby came back to the Olympic programme at Rio 2016 with its sevens format, it turned out to be a massive hit, as stadiums were sold out and many people around the world watched the competition play out with great delight.

Therefore winning the championship by the team of Fiji at the Rio 2016 Olympics appeared to be one of the historic moments in the Olympics.

The Rugby world cup is proved to be one of its biggest events which takes place every 4 years. While this sport has 3,560,000 Registered players, its Equipment consists of Union Football and Scrum Cap.

Each Rugby team has a number of 15 players and 180,630 clubs play this game at the moment while it was first played in the 19th century and is ranked to be one of

the most popular Olympic sports.

At the same time, courage, skill and speed are indispensable parts of this sport.


Olympic weightlifting is one of the other members of the

top 10 most popular Olympic sports

, while it was first developed in Ancient Greece, Egypt, China.

In the modern Olympic program, what athletes require in this sport is to showcase their power by attempting a maximum weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates.

Every individual weightlifter would attempt each lift, three times and the aggregate of the highest two successful lifts specifies the total result within a bodyweight category.

Then each winner would be entitled to be called the strongest athlete in their bodyweight category. While the females' bodyweight categories differ from those of the males.

For the first time, female players joined this sport in 1997, while there is no doubt that doing this sport is a truly herculean task that only very potent athletes can participate in it, therefore in ranking the Top 10 Olympic Sports to Watch, we can not exclude it at all.


Tennis has a special place in the list of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports and currently has been ranked in its eighth position. For the first time, this sport was played in the year 1873 while it entered the Summer Olympics in the 1896 Olympic Games, being held in Athens.

In the inaugural Olympic Games, there were only two tournaments in the form of men's singles and men's doubles, yet back then it was not assumed to be that much a big deal. At the Olympic Games in 1900, females also began to compete in singles and mixed doubles tennis events.

But nowadays with the involvement of superstars like Serena Williams and tennis big threes- Federer, Djokovic and Nadal- this sport is taken a lot more seriously as it is considered to be one of the Most Popular Sports of the Olympic Games.

In fact, such popularity is gained through the sport's immense talents who have attracted massive audiences wherever they would go, be it in the Olympics or any other major tournament.

Soccer/Association Football

Soccer also known as football in some leading countries, is not only one of the most popular Olympic sports worldwide but it is also the first richest sport in the world and is ranked among the highest paying sports in the world.

So it is no wonder to see it in the list of the

top 10 most popular Olympic sports

as well. Billions of people around the world watch this mind-blowing sport most passionately than any other sport while they idolize their football legends as ardently as possible.

But in the early years of the Olympics, soccer was not joined in the program yet as international football was just spending its infancy stages back then. Women’s soccer was also included in Olympic sports from the year 1996 afterwards.


One of the other top ten most popular Olympic sports is Basketball which is also among the highest paying as well.

Many people around the world are very fond of watching this team sport which is consisted of five players in every team per side.

For the first time, Basketball appeared at the Olympic games in 1936 and just 40 years late, in 1976 females basketball was added to the Olympics too.

This is while the best ever performing basketball player at the Olympic Games is considered to be US female player Teresa Edwards who was a member of 4 gold medal-winning teams between 1984 and 2000.

The United States has gained eye dropping success in Olympic basketball in so far as their male teams have won 15 out of the 18 tournaments they featured in, and that speaks volumes about their sporting practices.

Volleyball (Beach and field)

Volleyball is considered to be one of the most popular Olympic sports that has captivated the hearts of many people around the world to such an extent that not only they enjoy watching it but also they take huge delight in playing it.

This famous sport has two teams consisting of six players in each one as they try their utmost to make the highest score points.



became part of the summer Olympics from the year 1964 afterwards. Most amazingly unlike many other games, even back then it was applicable for both females and males.

But initially, it was a part of an American sports demonstration event and in

ranking the Top 10 Olympic Sports to watch

, it plays an indispensable role.

Water sports

As one of the other top ten most popular Olympics sports one can point out water sports, and although swimming is also a category of water sports it has such a popularity that it would be elaborated on its own terms in due regards.

While many water sports are included in the Olympics, some have joined just in specific editions of the tournament, at the same time, others form even part of the major events.

Different types of water sports are Surfing, Sailing, Swimming, Wind Surfing, Jet Skiing, Wake Boarding, etc. In what follows we have taken a brief glimpse at some of the rather more popular water sports.


While Diving is known to be among the oldest water sports, it was initially added to the Olympics in 1904 as the International Swimming Federation determines the regulations of this water sport. In light of its very daring nature, the sport is assumed to be one the Most Popular Sports of the Olympic Games.


Sailing is another famous water sport which is also referred to as yachting. Just like the previous one, it is an old Olympic water sport whose first appearance in the Summer Olympic Games was in 1896.

Since then it has been present in each edition of the tournaments except the 1904 Olympics in the face of the bad weather.


In contrast to the previous ones, surfing is a new water Olympic sport that would make its debut in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Therefore we can't definitely indicate that it is a popular sport yet it has the potential to attract great viewership.

While the International Surfing Association is the sport’s governing body, both men and women are allowed to participate in the tournament.

Track and field

Track and field, also known as Athletics, are among the top 10 most popular Olympic sports that had attracted watchers and contestants. The roots of the athletics program trace back to games of the ancient Greek Olympics.

While it is the biggest sport in the sense of both contesters and events, it fascinatingly draws people attention in as much as there is nobody on the planet who would deny the amazement of watching the fastest men and women in the world.

While the 100m, 200m and 100m relay final are its single most-watched events, this competitive sport has athletics who possess skills like running, jumping, and throwing.


Being on the leading ranks in the list of the top ten Olympic sports, swimming's individual or team racings, for the first time appeared in the 1930s Olympics games. Then in the year 1973, the sport won World Championship while both men and women are allowed to take part in this sport.

Owing to the presence of some great legends of the pool, the sport has become immensely popular as they inspire many people to take swimming lessons too.

The likes of Michael Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympian in history as well, Mark Spitz who won nine Olympic gold medals, Ian Thorpe and more recently Katie Ledecky have seen the sport to be at the height of its fame.

Since 1896 as the United States has won the most medals in the swimming competitions followed by Australia, country rivalry also adds more fuels to the excitement and popularity of the sport so as to make it one of the most-watched popular Olympic sports.


At the number one ranking of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, we have Gymnastics as it is the First Olympic Sport which has attracted the eyes of people from all countries and all ages.

Notwithstanding the fact that world championships in gymnastics have never really made television headlines or broken box office records, its Olympics tournament reigns supreme.

From the first modern Summer Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens, gymnastics took part in the competition. Although Gymnastics is one of the most skilful sports, it has been the most-watched Olympic sport since 1996.

It is the first sport involving exercises that requires balance, flexibility, slim bodies, agility, strength, coordination, durability, elasticity, stability, liveliness, and control.

While it has movements contributing to developing the arms, legs, shoulders, chest, and abdominal muscles, it contains sports such as floor exercises, and individuals all-around for both genders; and horizontal bar and parallel bars just for men. So with all of these mentioned, in the list of most matched Olympic sports, Gymnastics would be fairly on First Position. 


Read More:

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.