Despite Progress, These Olympic Sports Are Currently Open Only To Men

By Peter C

The Olympic Games have witnessed many positive developments in terms of gender equality in sports, but there are still some events that are open only to men or only to women. For example, women were allowed to participate in the 1,500-meter freestyle event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for the first time ever.

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This marks a significant milestone, as women have faced numerous barriers competing in some Olympics games.

The 1900 Olympics was the first time women were allowed to participate in the tournament, and their participation was restricted to only five games. That is a huge development when you realize that no women were allowed to participate when the modern Olympics began in 1896.

However, since 1991, more women’s sports have been introduced in a bid to sustain and widen women’s participation in the tournament. Despite this progress, a few Olympic sports are still open to only men. Here are three sports that only allow male participation.


This is a two-day athletic event in which competitors participate in a series of ten track and field activities, including 100-meter, shot put, pole vault, long jump, 110-meter hurdles, and others. Currently, this sport is only open to men at the Olympics, although a similar sport known as heptathlon is also available for women.

However, some female athletes are advocating for the creation of a women’s decathlon at the Olympics, which would replace the current heptathlon. One major difference is that the heptathlon is considered a more speed-oriented event compared to the endurance-oriented decathlon.

50-Kilometer Race Walking

The 50-kilometer race walk, which is the longest event at the Olympics, has only allowed the full participation of male athletes since its introduction into the Olympic games.

However, chances are that female athletes will start participating in the event in future games. The event was first opened to women at the 2017 World Championships, so the Olympics seem like the next logical step.

Greco-Roman Wrestling

Male athletes have been participating in this Olympic sport since 1896. It differs from freestyle wrestling, which is why the event is open to only men. For instance, wrestlers can only use their upper bodies and arms to attack.

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However, efforts are being made to ensure that women also participate in Greco-Roman wrestling in the Olympics after the Tokyo games.