Top 10 Most Popular Olympic Sports | 2024 Ranking

Olympic Games are a part of people’s lives, and important ones at that. It is crucial to say that these games are highly competitive and tough to play.  It is important to understand how much effort is used in these games and sports. People from all over the world, come to participate in this global sports fest and billions of people root for them to win and have the victory medal. So far the USA has the maximum number of medals in the Olympics throughout the years. Closely followed by China, Brazil, and others. In the following description, we will take you through the most popular and toughest Olympic Games. Here are the top 10 most popular Olympic sports.

Most Popular Olympic Sports | 2024 Updates

Content Summery

Most people don’t realize that it takes the practice of a lifetime to perfect one move. It takes a lot of effort and skills to master a technique. And for these talents, the athletes must be validated and praised. They must be given way more respect than any other entertainers, for they work really hard and always are underappreciated.

10. Rugby | Famous Olympic Sport


At number 10 of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, we have rugby. Although the 15-player version of the sport appeared at the Olympic Games between 1900 and 1924, Rio 2016 marks the debut of rugby sevens, a faster, shorter adaption. Bravery, skill, and speed will be in abundance in the men’s and women’s tournaments.

Rugby is one of the most appreciated sports in the Olympics. Team Fiji won the rugby championship at the 2016 Rio Olympics. This easily made it to the list of historic moments in the Olympics.

9. Weightlifting | Olympic Endurance Sport


At number 9 of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, we have lifting weights. Olympic weightlifting is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic program in which the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates.

This is one of the people’s favorite games in the Olympics. Each weightlifter receives three attempts in each, and the combined total of the highest two successful lifts determines the overall result within a bodyweight category. Bodyweight categories are different for male and female competitors.

8. Tennis | Most Watched Olympic Sport


At number 8 of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, we have tennis. Tennis was first challenged as a Summer Olympic sport in the 1896 Olympic Games, which was held in Athens. In the inaugural Olympic Games, only two tournaments were played which were men’s singles and men’s doubles.

This was not a very big deal back then but Women were allowed to start to compete in singles and mixed doubles tennis events at the Olympic Games in 1900.

7. Soccer/Association Football | Most Followed Olympic Sport

Soccer / Association Football

At number 7 of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, we have soccer. It is also known as football in some leading countries. Soccer is one of the most popular sports worldwide and it is obvious that it is popular as an Olympic sport as well. Billions of people watch football and idolize football players.

Football was not included in the program at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, as international football was in its infancy at the time. Women’s soccer was also added to the summer Olympic Games’ list, but it wasn’t until 1996.

6. Basketball | Best Olympic Team Game


At number 6 of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, we have basketball. Since 1936, this game has been an Olympic sport for men. Exactly 40 years late, in 1976…women’s basketball was included in the Olympics too. It is to date one of the most popularly watched sports in America as well as other first-world countries.

The United States is by far the most successful country in Olympic basketball. The United States men’s teams have won 15 out of 18 tournaments in which they participated and that says a lot about their sporting practices.

5. Volleyball (Beach and field) – Best Olympic Sports

Volleyball (Beach and field)

Competitive Volleyball is a part of the summer Olympics since the year 1964. And unlike other games, it was applicable for both men as well as women. In the beginning, volleyball became a part of an American sports demonstration event.

But now, it is one of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports. People love to play as well as watch it.

4. Water Sports | Best Summer Olympic Sport

Water Sports

By saying water sports, we mean diving, rafting, and others. Swimming is not in this category because it is itself a huge category. Swimming is one of the top 10 most popular Olympic water sports but more on that later.

Apart from swimming, diving and rafting are also some of the Popular Olympic Sports to exist to date.

3. Track and field | Best Olympic Sprint Event

Track and field

At number 3 of the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, we have track and field. This might not seem likely but it is. People actually like track and field games a lot and tend to get competitive.

These are alternatively called Athletics and are a very common practice among watchers as well as contestants. The athletics program traces its earliest roots to events used in the ancient Greek Olympics. This is the most popular Olympic event.

2. Swimming | Toughest Olympic Sports


This game has Michael Phelps written all over it. He owns this sport and we know why. With over 19 gold medals in Olympic swimming, he is the most successful athlete in Olympic history. Not only swimming but he might also be one of the richest athletes alive.

Swimming has been an Olympic game for ages and people love to watch this sport, making it their second favorite among the top 10 most popular Olympic sports. Moreover, swimming is a healthy practice sport, and viewing this Olympic sport has inspired thousands to take swimming lessons and be fit again.

1. Gymnastics | Artistic Olympic Sport


At the number one spot in the top 10 most popular Olympic sports, we have Gymnastics. It is the best Olympic sport to watch. It is a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring strength, elasticity, stability, liveliness, durability, and control. The movements involved in gymnastics contribute to the development of the arms, legs, shoulders, chest, and abdominal muscles.

Olympic gymnastics includes sports such as floor exercises for men and women, a horizontal bar for men, individuals all-around for men and women, and other such games. It also includes parallel bars for men. Vault is for both men and women. This game also produced some of the best gymnasts in the world.


A game is made most popular by the people and the viewership rate. Hope you will find here all Olympic sports popularity ranking.  And as we know, the viewership will only increase when people connect and relate with the sport and root for the athletes.  Some games that just missed the cut are cycling, and badminton, if you love these sports, do leave a comment below and let us know who your favorite athlete is. These are the top 10 most popular Olympic sports. We hope you enjoyed reading.

Most Popular Olympic Sports – Infographics

Most Popular Olympic Sports - Infographics
Infographics: Most Popular Olympic Sports

FAQs Regarding Most Popular Olympic Sports

Q. Which sport is the most popular at the Olympics?

Soccer is the most popular world sport by other measures, and it’s one of the most popular Olympic sports, although swimming and athletics give soccer some competition during the Olympics. soccer is also one of the most-watched sports.

Q. Which Olympic sport is most popular in the United States?

The swimming events may still draw American attention at this year’s games. Swimming tops the list of favorite Olympic sports among Americans interested in this year’s Olympics, with 43%. Similarly, 39% of respondents say artistic gymnastics is one of their favorite events, while 36% say diving.

Q. Which sport is the oldest in the Olympic Games?

In the world, stadion or stade, the running race, is the oldest Olympic sport. In 776 BCE, it was the only event at the first Olympics, and it remained so until 724 BCE.

Q. Which Olympic event has received the most viewers?

There were an average of 593 million people watching the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics on a daily basis, setting a new record for a sports event. 3.5 billion people watched at least some part of the 16-day coverage, which included the opening and closing ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics.

Last Updated On: May 2024

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