Rugby union at the Summer Olympics

Rugby Union At The Summer Olympics

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Rugby union at the Summer Olympics

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Rugby union has been a men's medal sport at the modern Summer Olympic Games, being played at four of the first seven competitions. The sport debuted at the 1900 Paris games where the gold medal was won by the host nation. It was subsequently featured at the London games in 1908, the Antwerp games in 1920 and the Paris games in 1924. The United States is the most successful nation in Olympic rugby tournaments, having won the gold medal in both 1920 and 1924; France has the most medals, one gold (in 1900) and two silvers (in 1920 and 1924).

Shortly after the 1924 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) dropped rugby union as an Olympic sport. Since then there have been numerous attempts to bring the sport back to the Olympic program. The most recent effort has been to include the sevens version of the sport, which is played at similar competitions such as the Commonwealth Games, and in October 2009 the IOC voted at its session in Copenhagen to include sevens in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


The sport was introduced by Pierre De Coubertin, who is famous for reviving the modern Olympics. He also helped to establish rugby in France, refereeing the first domestic French club championship in 1892 and France's first international, on New Year’s Day, 1906, at Parc des Princes. Coubertin formed the IOC in 1894, but rugby...
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