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Multiple Years / Polo at the Olympics
Polo was contested at five Summer Olympics: 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924 and 1936. Over the years only nine different countries participated. That's not to say the tournaments were necessarily small: At the 1900 Olympics in Paris there were 13 teams--but six of them were French and the other seven were British! At the 1908 London Olympics the entire field of 12 teams were comprised of British squads. At the final Olympic tournament in Berlin in 1936, the Argentinian team (show in the photo) was easily the class of the five-team field. In their only two matches they outscored Mexico and Great Britain by a combined score of 26-5. The IOC invited India and the Unites States to enter teams, but neither country showed any desire to send a polo squad to Berlin. Why was polo discontinued at the Olympics? The expense of transporting horses overseas combined with a general lack of interest doomed polo to extinction from the Olympic program.