Chess Boxing
Blog Words : Weird@Wanderlust | 10 August

7 weird sports from around the world

The Brits are cleaning up at London 2012, but how would they fare in these crazy sports?

1. Wife carrying championships, Finland

Held annually in Sonkajärvi, Finland, contestants carry a woman – it doesn't have to be their wife – over a 250-metre obstacle course, incurring a 15-second penalty, and a good telling-off, for dropping the 'wife'. The winner takes home a mobile phone and his wife's weight in beer. If Sir Chris Hoy could transfer his skills to the event he could open a brewery.

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2. Oil wrestling, Turkey

Each June, strapping Turks cover themselves in oil in Kirkpinar, Edirne and proceed to wrestle each other to the ground. The wrestling is part of a festival dating back to 1357, celebrating an Ottoman victory.

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3. Beer can regatta, Australia

Darwin has one of the highest beer consumption rates in the world. Something has to be done with all the empties, so, in 1974, the Darwin Beer Can Regatta was born.

Boats are made from empty aluminum cans and raced from Mindil Beach, out to a buoy and back again, powered by human paddlers, preferably sober.

At its peak, the race attracted over 20,000 spectators.

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4. Kabaddi, India

Kabaddi means 'holding of breath' in Hindi, so no prizes for guessing what the primary aim is in this sport. However, it's a contact sport, so while one team is busy try to hold their breath, the other side wrestles their opponents to the ground trying to make them take a breath.

First played in India, it is now the national sport of Bangladesh, and earmarked for inclusion in the Olympics should Dhaka ever host the Games.

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5. Tuna tossing, Australia

The annual Tunarama Festival held on Port Lincoln, South Australia, each year, involves attaching a 20 pound tuna to a rope and throwing it in a style similar to the Olympic hammer throw. The person who throws his fish the farthest wins a cash prize.

Originally, spoiled fish that stores refused to sell were used. But recently organisers bowed to pressure from animal rights organisations and started using a plastic replica fish instead. Doubtlessly much easier to clean up afterwards as well.

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6. Chess boxing, Finland

Another Finnish innovation, this time combining the power of the brain and pure, unadulterated brawn, chess boxing is branded as 'the thinking man's contact sport.'

The game is split into 11 four-minute alternating rounds of chess and boxing, starting and ending with the chess. At the end of the chess round, the board is removed from the boxing ring and the competitors then beat each other up for a further four minutes. Then the board is replaced and the thinking caps come back out.

Winning comes either from a checkmate or a knockout.

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7. Human tower building, Spain

A popular feature of festivals throughout Catalonia in Spain, Castellering involves different 'societies' competing to build the tallest human towers.

It's a tradition that dates back to the 18th century, and made its Olympic debut at the Barcelona Games in 1992, albeit as part of the Opening Ceremony.

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