Ancient Sports That Still Exist Today

The old history of sports that are still popular today

Two women wrestling.
Image by Megan Elice Meadows. Source: Flickr.

Sport is one of the greatest inventions for entertainment, of both the audience and the players. Some sports are relatively new, others go back thousands of years, and some are not even invented yet! (Figure that out!) Sport is very very old, it’s predating even writing! Here, we are going to share with you some of the oldest sports that still exist today.


Image by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

This is by far the most ancient sport. It dates back to 15,000 years ago, depicted in cave paintings in France. Another cave paintings found in Mongolia dates back to 7000 B.C. showing a wrestling match surrounded by crowds. Stone slabs from Sumerian civilization also represented this sport 3000 – 2600 B.C. The oldest document explaining this sport dates back to 200 and 100 B.C. and was found in Egypt in the 1800s. It’s considered the oldest actual documentation of the sport. Wrestling has evolved over time and now we have different categories of wrestling, but the modern form was introduced in France in the 1830s and it’s an Olympic sport up to this day.


Image by Beat Küng. Source: Flickr.

Just like wrestling, this one is also depicted in the same cave paintings in France around 15000 years ago! Though in my opinion it’s as old the human race, back then when running meant better chance of survival, it is no coincidence that running was the first and only sport in the first recorded Olympics back in 776 BC in Athens, and it’s still hugely popular today.


Image by Australian Paralympic Committee. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The first evidence of swimming was found in Libya, in the cave of swimmers, as a work of art depicting swimming and archery that dates back to 6000 B.C. It has been part of the Olympics since 1896.


Image by Cdephotos. Source: Flickr.

It goes all the way back to ancient Greece, and was first used as a means of military training, then reintroduced in the late 18th century in Germany and led to what is known now as modern Gymnastics. Men’s Gymnastics became part of the Olympics in 1896 and Women’s Gymnastics in 1928.


Image by Land Rover MENA. Source: Flickr.

For those who don’t know Polo, it’s a game much like hockey but played while the players are riding horses. (If you don’t know what hockey is, then you really need some help.) It dates back to 1100 B.C. in the Persian empire. This game was played by the Persian emperors, and spread in central Asia at the peak of the Persian empire. The oldest documented evidence dates back to 316 A.D. The modern form of Polo was developed in India and the first Polo club in the world was formed in 1833.

Which sport is your favorite? Tell us about your favorite sport in the comment section!