The International Olympic Committee announced this week that "breaking" - a form of dancing - is among new sports to debut at the next couple of Olympic Games. But that's by no means the oddest sport that's been included over the years. Here's some of the stranger sports that have debuted at past Games...

Tug of war 1904 Olympics

The tug-of-war event at the 1904 Olympic Games. PICTURE: Public domain

• Tug-of-War, in which opposing teams haul on opposing ends of a single rope in a bid to try to pull the other team past a certain point, was included in the Olympic Games until 1920 during which time the event was dominated by Great Britain. The most controversial year was apparently in 1908 when the US protested the British win claiming they had worn illegal footwear.

• Live pigeon shooting was only ever seen in one Olympic Games - those held in 1900 in Paris. Athletes endeavoured to shoot as many of the birds as possible with the winner, Belgium’s Leon de Lunden, apparently shooting down 21. Almost 300 birds were gunned down during the event and, following protests from animal rights activists, clay pigeons replaced the live birds in future Games.

• Rope climbing - yes, it means shimmying up a 14 metre long rope to the top - was introduced in 1896 and lasted until 1932. Competitors were apparently judged on time and style.

• Club swinging appeared at a couple of Olympic Games - in 1904 and again in 1932 (when it was named "Indian clubs"). It involves the athlete swinging bowling pin like-clubs in patterns about their body (there's some similarity with modern rhythmic gymnastics).

• Roque is similar to croquet (itself included in the 1900 Olympics) but is played on a hard surface with solid boundaries. It only appeared at the 1904 Games in St Louis - complaints that the US, who were the only competitors, introduced it just to inflate their medal tally apparently had the intended effect.

• Another sport that only lasted for one Games was the swimming obstacle race. This 200 metre long course involved climbing over a pole and a series of boats while in the water and then swimming under another line of boats. It was only held at the 1900 Games in Paris with Australian Fred Lane taking the gold medal.

• Solo synchronised swimming, which has been described as a form of "water ballet", made its debut at the Los Angeles Games in 1984 but was discontinued in 1992. Team synchronised swimming remains in the Games, albeit still a somewhat controversial inclusion.

• Other events still in the Games but which remain somewhat controversial include trampolining (first included in 2000) and race walking (which has been in every Games since 1904 but stlll has its detractors).

• Many of the odder sports which have appeared at past Games - at least until 1992 - have done so as "demonstration events". The idea was to showcase some of the sports local to the hosting nations and while medals were awarded, they weren't included in the overall tally. Some of the odder events to be included in this were bandy - a mix of ice hockey and field hockey which was on display at the 1952 Winter Games in Oslo, pesapallo - a Finnish version of baseball shown at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, and Australian Rules Football, which was played at the 1956 Games in Melbourne.

• And what's coming up apart from breaking? The IOC have already approved surfing, skateboarding, karate and sport climbing for next year's Games (while 3X3 basketball and BMX freestyle were added as new categories in existing sports). Meanwhile the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing will feature seven new events including freestyle skiing big air, women’s monobob and mixed team events including in snowboard cross.

Sources: Olympic GamesRichard Baka, The Conversation - 'Breakdancing in the Olympics?'; BritannicaCNN; Business Insider