Skeet shooting has been a part of the Olympics since 1968; trap shooting has been a part of the modern Olympics dating back to 1900, the Paris games.
The introduction of a sport which has lasted for more than a century as an Olympic standard might seem like the most noteworthy Olympic event of that year, or at least the key event associated with that general category of sports. In this case, however, you’d be incorrect.
What makes 1900 stand out in the minds of Olympic shooting enthusiasts is the clay pigeon shoot. Donald Mackintosh of Australia took top honors, with shooters from Spain and the United States taking second and third place.
Except… it wasn’t a clay pigeon shoot. In the Paris Olympics, the event organizers had decided to make the competition a bit more challenging, and used real pigeons instead.
Spectators watched as the birds fell from the sky one after another. Some which had only been wounded moved across the ground in an attempt to flee the carnage. In the end, more than 300 birds filled the shooting area, presenting a harrowing sight even to those who were familiar with bird hunting. Many unsuspecting attendees, who had simply wanted to be present to view one of the year’s events, were horrified. The Olympic committee decided against holding the event again.
I’m guessing some improperly-aged squab was on some Parisian menus for the evening meal.
Question of the night: What is your gun of preference?