Team USA has failed to medal in these 5 Summer Olympic sports

The silver, gold and bronze medals are displayed after the Tokyo 2020 medal design unveiling ceremony. Photo by Atsushi Tomura
The silver, gold and bronze medals are displayed after the Tokyo 2020 medal design unveiling ceremony. Photo by Atsushi Tomura (Getty Images)

It’s no secret that the United States is the most decorative country when it comes to winning medals at the Summer Olympics, with the red, white and blue taking home 2,521 medals, the most of any country.

But believe it or not, there are some events the United States has never even medaled in at the Summer Olympics, despite the long history of the Games and the U.S. participation.

Here are five events the United States is still looking to medal for the first time in.


1. Badminton

Photo by Matt Roberts. (Getty Images)

A popular outdoor game for summer or graduation parties, this actually is an Olympic sport. Since becoming a part of the Summer Olympics in 1992, China has dominated the competition, winning 41 of the 106 medals handed out. Indonesia and South Korea are next with 19 medals.

It might be a relatively new sport, but why can’t the U.S. be good at this? If the popular backyard game of cornhole can have its own professional leagues, why can’t a U.S. prodigy in badminton step up and journey to an Olympic medal?


2. Handball

Photo by Slavko Midzor/Pixsell/MB Media. (Getty Images)

On the surface, this seems like a neat sport that would catch on in the United States. Essentially, it’s a cross between basketball and soccer. Seven players on each team dribble and pass the ball around with the intent of throwing the ball into the goal. But it’s something that hasn’t gained popularity in the U.S. The last time the U.S. qualified for handball at the Olympics was in 1996. The best finish for the Americans was sixth in 1936.


3. Rhythmic gymnastics

Photo by Ian MacNicol. (Getty Images)

Given the popularity of gymnastics, dance, and cheer in the United States, it’s somewhat surprising there hasn’t been an American medalist since the sport was introduced at the Olympics in 1984. Rhythmic gymnastics is where competitors perform routines with an apparatus such as a hoop, ball, ribbon, rope or clubs. Eastern European nations have dominated this event, but it seems like only a matter of time before a young American sweeps the nation off its feet in this event, making history.


4. Table tennis

Photo by Zhizhao Wu. (Getty Images)

If only America had its real-life version of “Forrest Gump” to be a worldwide phenomenon in this sport. As it is, American success in this event at the Olympics seems like a fantasy, just like the movie. Only 12 nations have won medals in table tennis since it was introduced at the 1992 Barcelona games, with China winning more than half the total medals (53 out of 100). Of the 32 gold medals handed out, 28 of them have been won by Chinese competitors.


5. Trampoline

Photo by David Ramos. (Getty Images)

This seems like another sport where it’s only a matter of time before there is an American breakthrough on the medal stand. While China and Russia have dominated the sport since it officially became a part of the Olympics in 2000, who around the U.S. doesn’t love jumping on trampolines?

Have you seen all those halftime exhibitions at sporting events of people doing high-flying trampoline acts? Eventually, the popularity of trampolines should translate into Olympic success for the U.S.


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