Wushu’s History: Now run by the International Wushu Federation, which was created in 1990. But Wushu was actually first demonstrated for an international audience at the 1936 Berlin Games and a special tournament was held during the 2008 Beijing Games to show off the sport.
Notable Stats: The IWF represents 119 nations.
The Pitch: Wushu stands out from the other martial arts because it adds the element of taolu, in which the athletes perform routines with swords and staffs, instead of just having two people square off on a mat. That makes it interesting to a widespread audience, because it’s much more gymnastics than taekwondo.
The Odds: 12 to 1. Some may think it’s just another martial art, but it’s a dark horse purely because of its uniqueness. Still, a lot of people would just rather see two people square off on a mat, and the fact that it uses the all-inclusive title instead of the more well-known “kung-fu” doesn’t help.