08/12/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Your Guide To The Least Popular Olympic Sports

Sprinters, swimmers and tumblers in sequined leotards may drive T.V. ratings in the U.S., but here are five lesser-known Olympic disciplines that draw rabid fans around the world.

1. Badminton

For your information, Taufik Hidayat is a stud. The spiky-haired shuttler -- yup, that's what badminton players are often called -- with a 200-km-an-hour backhand smash is a pin-up hero in Indonesia, adored for his 2004 Olympic gold medal in the men's singles event. (Badminton remains the only Olympic sport in which the country of 230 million has ever struck gold.) Taufik hopes to win again in Beijing. But even if he does succeed, the Southeast Asian nation is in danger of being eclipsed by China, which in Athens won three badminton golds to Indonesia's one.

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