Not all Olympic sports are created equal! Some sports have such intense competition and require very specific skills that unless you started training for thousands of hours since you were a child you have no chance. While there are some easy Olympic sports that you can pick up later in life and even if you aren’t a world class athlete you can still qualify for the Games!
The easiest Olympic sports to qualify for are bobsleigh, archery and shooting. These sports do not require exceptional athleticism and are not very popular so there is a limited pool of competitors.
Qualifying for the Olympics can be easy if you pick the right sport and you happen to be from the right country. Olympic organizers are constantly trying to grow events and increase viewership. This means lowering the bar for qualification for athletes from underrepresented countries. We will explain how that works later!
What is the Easiest Summer Olympic Sport to Qualify For?
The easiest Summer Olympic sports to qualify are shooting and archery. Shooting and archery have limited competitors and do not require physical gifts. These sports are also very niche with very few active competitors.
The secret to qualifying for the Summer Olympics is finding a sport that is not very competitive and or getting citizenship in a country where the sport is non-existent. Finding sports that meet the above criteria and getting yourself citizenship in a new country can be a little tricky but that hasn’t stopped unlikely people becoming Olympians.
What is the Easiest Winter Olympic Sport To Qualify For
The easiest Winter Olympic sport to qualify for is the bobsleigh. Jamaica sent a team that had never competed before. Also Alexey Voyevoda, a former arm wrestler won two Winter Olympic medals in the bobsleigh after training the sport for less than 2 years!
The Winter Olympics is much easier to qualify for than the Summer Olympics because in most countries around the world there is no snow or winter sport culture. The Winter Olympics is filled with niche sports that have very low competition and don’t require supreme athleticism. Curling is another great sport that could be your ticket to the Winter Olympics especially if you are from a country with no curling culture, which is pretty much the entire world!
One of the most famous Winter Olympians is Eddie the Eagle who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics as a ski jumper. What is remarkable is that Eddie the Eagle had never practiced on a proper hill and would jump from his own roof. Eddie the Eagle found a niche sport that had no qualification process and was also from a country that had not fielded a ski jumper since 1928!
Another legendary Olympian who channeled Eddie the Eagle is Eric the Eel! Eric the Eel is a swimmer from the small nation of Equatorial Guinea. He managed to sneak his way into the Sydney 2000 Olympics by receiving rather a ‘wild card’ entry which was used as a way to grow swimming in underdeveloped nations. Even better, Equatorial Guinea didn’t even have swimming trials so Eric the Eel just had to call up the Equatorial Guinea swimming federation and tell them he was their guy!
Eric the Eel struggled to finish his Olympic heat and came almost a whole minute behind his nearest competition. However, that didn’t stop him from becoming a global sensation. Unfortunately, for Eric the Eel social media wasn’t around back then and he wasn’t able to fully leverage all of his new found fame.
Do You Want to Qualify For an Olympic Sport? Try Switching Country
The qualification process for every country is not the same. Making the Papua New Guinea national basketball team is much easier than making the USA national team. Also many developing countries receive automatic spots in the Olympics for certain events in hopes of growing those sports and making the competitors diverse.
A good strategy would be to specialize in a low competition sport such as shooting or archery. Spend a few years practicing and try to get as good as possible. Then switch citizenship to the Olympic host country. This is because the Olympic host nation receives automatic spots for all sports, no qualification is required. You need to get a little lucky and hope the host nation isn’t a sporting powerhouse like the USA. This strategy would have worked wonderfully for the 2004 Olympics when Athens hosted the event. Greece has a population of just 10 million and there can not be too many good archers or shooters. The last hurdle would be finding a Greek man or woman to marry to get your coveted citizenship!
The chances of becoming an Olympian are low. However, you can radically increase your chances of making it to the Olympic Games by specializing in an easy Olympic sport such as archery, shooting, curling or bobsleigh and gaining citizenship in a country that has a low qualifying criteria.