Tug of war was contested as a team event in the Summer Olympics at every Olympiad from 1900 to 1920. Originally the competition was entered by groups called clubs.
A country could enter more than one club in the competition, making it possible for one country to earn multiple medals. This happened in 1904, when the United States won all three medals, and in 1908 when the podium was occupied by three British teams. Sweden was also among the top countries with two medals, one as a member of the mixed team.
During its time as an Olympic sport, it was considered to be part of the Olympic athletics program, although the sports of tug of war and athletics are now considered distinct.