Top-10 Hardest Sports In The World

Hardest Sports In The World
Photo: Boxing AIBA

What is the hardest sport in the world? Read on to find out.

Sports can be entertaining to the massive crowd who happens to be just spectators—fans in the stadium or boxing arena, or viewers watching from the TV screen. However, the athletes involved in sports know the pain it takes to achieve success among the various games.

These tough sports need physical strength and balance to an athlete’s speed and disposition. It also requires mental strength and endurance capability.

The following ten toughest sports listed below will test athletes in these forms. Fill your curiosity.

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The Hardest Sports in the World – Ranked

10. Cross-Country Running

Cross Country Running – Tough Sports

Cross-country running is a kind of sport that will test your endurance limits and mental strengths. Firstly the long miles can be daunting odds. Runners often finish off before finishing the race. Then, there could be rising health issues due to long-distance running like a sudden ache, hurting feet, blurry vision, or pulled muscle.

The weather also comes into play in determining the difficulty of the sport. Sometimes races can be scheduled on extremely sunny days, which can be another obstacle to runners, leading to quick de-hydration. Cross-country running is one of the toughest sports, for it requires physical strengths, mental strengths, and emotional strengths.

RELATED: Top-10 Fastest Runners In The World

9. Freestyle Wrestling

Now, this is different from the WWE wrestling that frequently graces our TV screens. Freestyle Wrestling is combat sports, which involves two opponents aiming to pin each other down on an octagonal mat with a circle inside. It is a physically demanding sport that requires an ample amount of strength. It is tasking with a high chance of internal injury risk.

ALSO READ: Top-10 Greatest WWE Wrestlers Of All-Time

8. Horseback Riding

Steeplechase - Horseback Riding - Tough Sports
Photo: Paul Holloway

Horseback riding is a partnership kind of sport. A team effort, but unlike other team sports, your teammate in this sport is an animal you can’t precisely blurb out instructions or communicate. The sport involves jockeys (horse riders) riding horses and steeplechasing with horses, which isn’t easy. Jockeys beforehand train their horses on increased speed and several skills set. The jockey has to get familiar with their horse and build a sense of coordination with it, which would prove very useful during competitive events.

RELATED: Top-10 Major Horse Racing Events Worldwide

7. Bull Riding

Bull Riding is not just among the most challenging sports but a dangerous one. It is not an option for the weak. Only the brave participate in this dangerous sport. The risk this sports pose can be literally staring death in the eyeball. Bull riding requires riders to stay mounted on crazy wild bulls, which attempts to knock off the rider. The rider must stay atop the bucking bull for eight seconds.

Trying to keep your balance on a wild beast that is nothing but your opponents is more than challenging, and that is the beauty of the sport. Scary, and entertaining, bull riding can turn out to be bloody. The eight seconds riders are meant to stay on the jerky bucking bull has been termed the most dangerous eight seconds in the sports world.

6. Water Polo

Water Polo - Hard Sport
Photo: Jared Gray

Ever seen American football? Water polo is similar except that it is played in the water in a deep pool of at least 1.8 meters. The sport involves two teams aiming to score goals with a floating water ball by throwing the ball into each other’s nets. Water polo is a hard sport as it combines swimming along with catching and shooting with a single hand. Football, plus swimming, make up water polo.

5. Figure Skating

Figure Skating is one grueling strenuous sports. For one, fellow sports competitors are tough and fierce in skating, driven with a mad passion for victory. Just a few minutes of skating activity can drain an athlete’s whole strength; he or she wouldn’t have the power to mumble “I give up.” Second is an athlete finding his or her balance. The weight of the body is all coming down under four millimeter thick blades.

So while an athlete does the fling and jumps and various footwork, he or she must take every step with an intuitive sense of coordination and strength: a mistake results in a brutal fall. The fall is another factor that makes up for the difficulty of the sport. Painful and frequent they are which results not just in bruises, but broken bones, dislocated joints, fractures. Figure Skating is not a sport for the chicken-hearted.

4. Motocross

Best Motocross Riders Of All-Time
Photo credit: Simon Cudby / Husqvarna

Motocross sports initially developed from motorcycle trials. It is one ardent, physically demanding sport. Riders have to compete in races in off-road circuits not compatible with smooth riding, with lots of pathway obstacles in forms of sudden turns, an excessive amount of sandy path. They make it almost impossible for riders to speed across a lot of riding jumps and landing.

It takes a great deal of mental focus to get to the finishing round alone, and it saps a lot of strength. Unsurprisingly, some riders seek PED help to excel in the sport, which is illegal. However, the game has seen the greatest dominate it and conquer all difficulty posed by the sport’s competitiveness.

RELATED: Top-15 Best Motocross Riders Of All-Time

3. Swimming

Swimming – Toughest Sports
Photo: Isiwal

Only a few are knowledgeable that the first reference of swimming was from a painting. From the colors of art, it has developed over the centuries into a competitive sport. This sport is a strength demanding one as breaking through the water in strokes compares to pushing the weight. Still, the competition has seen swimmers master the art of swimming and break through the barrier of difficulty in the sport.

2. Gymnastics

Gymnastics  - Simone Biles - Rio 2016
Simone Biles – (Photo: Agência Brasil Fotografias)

Gymnastics is a competitive sport that requires lots of strength and flexibility. It requires enormous agility, stamina, balance, discipline body control, and coordination to become a core master in the sport. Therefore, it is one of the hardest sports in the new century. Modernity in the gymnastics came via its development through three physical educators in the nineteenth century, teaching it in the form of exercises on apparatus. It was the birth of modern gymnastics and has since skyrocketed into a competitive sports event for both male and female gender in the twentieth century.

1. Boxing

Boxing - Brutal, Dangerous & Toughest Sports
Photo: Boxing AIBA

Boxing is a sport that involves two opponents fighting in a ring aiming to earn points by successfully throwing punches at each other. Highly dangerous and challenging, boxing is arguably the hardest sport in the world. It boasts a high chance of life-threatening injuries. Many legendary boxers who have come and dominated the sports and gone have had to battle severe health ailments years after retirement. Fighters receive endless praise, for, despite the risk, they partake in the game for the fans’ entertainment.


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Please feel free to share your thoughts about these toughest and most physically demanding sports, in our comments section below.

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