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10 words you probably only hear at the Olympic Games 

Glossary of Olympic Terms | Grammarly Blog 

Badminton – a racket sport played by hitting a shuttlecock (lightweight cone-shaped object with a rubber end) over a net. It most likely gets its name from Badminton House in England where it is said to have been played, although a version of the game probably originated in India. 

Steeplechase – a 3000m foot race over hurdles and a water jump. The name comes from an earlier form of village horse racing in Ireland where the church steeple was used as a guide for riders. 

Pommel Horse – a piece of gymnastics equipment used for swinging and balancing with 2 handles called pommels. Earlier English pommels were types of knobs on top of towers or the hilts of swords. 

Fencing – the art or sport of fighting with swords. The word was first recorded in the 1500s and has its origins in the French word défense. 

Dressage – this is a sport which requires precise movements by a horse with only slight signals from the rider. Again, from the French, this time dresser meaning to train.  

Keirin – A track cycling event where a motorcyclist controls the initial pace of the race. It originated in Japan around 1948 for gambling purposes. 

Sculling – this is a rowing race where the participants have an oar or scull in both hands. 

Bantamweight – a boxing category where the boxers weigh between 52.2 and 53.5 kilograms. The name probably originates in the name for a particularly small, lively breed of chicken. 

Medley – This is the mix of several swimming strokes in one race. It comes from the old word melee, meaning a confused struggle which again has French roots. 

Bullseye – this is the central area of the archery target where the archer can score the most points. It was used as early as 1680 to describe various types of circular holes and is also the name for a type of round, hard, English sweet. 


Sources: Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster, and 


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