Olympic sports definitions
This section needs additional citations for verification
. (September 2014)
The term "sport" in Olympic terminology refers to all events sanctioned by an international sport federation, a definition that may differ from the common meaning of the word "sport". One sport, by Olympic definition, may comprise several disciplines, which would often be regarded as separate sports in common usage.
For example, aquatics is a summer Olympic sport that includes six disciplines: swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, water polo, open water swimming, and high diving (the last of which is a non-Olympic discipline), since all these disciplines are governed at international level by the International Swimming Federation. Skating is a winter Olympic sport represented by the International Skating Union, and includes four disciplines: figure skating, speed skating (on a traditional long track), short track speed skating, and synchronized skating (the latter is a non-Olympic discipline). The sport with the largest number of Olympic disciplines is skiing, with six: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, nordic combined, snowboarding, and freestyle skiing.
Other notable multi-discipline sports are gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic, and trampoline), cycling (road, track, mountain, and BMX), volleyball (indoors and beach), wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman), canoeing (flatwater and slalom), and bobsleigh (includes skeleton). The disciplines listed here are only those contested in the Olympics—gymnastics has two non-Olympic disciplines, while cycling and wrestling have three each.
It should also be noted that the IOC definition of a "discipline" may differ from that used by an international federation. For example, the IOC considers artistic gymnastics a single discipline, but the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) classifies men's and women's artistic gymnastics as separate disciplines. Similarly, the IOC considers freestyle wrestling to be a single discipline, but United World Wrestling uses "freestyle wrestling" strictly for the men's version, classifying women's freestyle wrestling as the separate discipline of "female wrestling".
On some occasions, notably in the case of snowboarding, the IOC agreed to add a sport that previously had a separate international federation to the Olympics on condition that they dissolve their governing body and instead affiliate with an existing Olympic sport federation, therefore not increasing the number of Olympic sports.
An event, by IOC definition, is a competition that leads to the award of medals. Therefore, the sport of aquatics includes a total of 46 Olympic events, of which 32 are in the discipline of swimming, eight in diving, and two each in synchronized swimming, water polo, and open water swimming. The number of events per sport ranges from a minimum of two (until 2008, there were sports with only one event) to a maximum of 47 in athletics, which despite its large number of events and its diversity is not divided into disciplines.