ALBRECHT GEYER

Extreme ironing, toe wrestling and the World Beard and Moustache Championships are as unheard of as Bafana Bafana’s defensive formation. These sports are so bizarre that most people who take part in them probably didn’t make their school’s first team (or fifth for that matter!). So this week Perdeby decided to take a look at some of the more peculiar sports played across the globe.

When the Australians decided to create an activity that didn’t involve sheep, they invented the sport of dwarf throwing. The competition requires dwarfs to be placed in harnesses and catapulted into the air, with the winner being based on the distance thrown. The sport was eventually stopped due to complaints from some Australians, although the dwarfs did not seem to mind.

Not to be outdone, the Japanese have added a delightful new dimension to sumo wrestling: babies. Baby-cry Sumo entails two sumo wrestlers that each hold a baby aloft with the intention of making his baby cry first. In the event that both babies begin to weep simultaneously, the one who wails the loudest is declared the winner.

It seems the men in Finland truly love their wives as they have an annual wife carrying competition. The festival involves the husbands running a course of 253.5m while carrying their wives on their backs. The men have to negotiate various obstacles and a 15 second penalty is imposed for dropping or bouncing their wife. A material motive is probably behind the festival as the champion is rewarded with a mobile phone and, more importantly, his wife’s weight in beer.

Many associate England with football, rain and bad teeth. This is probably why gurning has become so popular there. Gurning is the act of pulling a face. Every year contestants compete to determine who can pull the most hideous face. Some of the more competitive participants even resort to removing their teeth to give themselves an advantage.

Whether it is cockroach racing, chess boxing or the hairiest back competition, there is indeed a sport for every person. Even if it involves chasing a roll of cheese down a hill.

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