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Some of the world’s best athletes will compete for gold during this winter’s games in Beijing. But there’s more to the world of sports than the events that qualify for the games. From Finland’s wife-carrying to Malaysia’s national sport of Sepak Takraw, human beings have been dreaming up unique ways to challenge themselves physically and mentally for centuries.
Here are 7 out-there sports and sports competitions that won’t make this year’s games, but deserve points for creativity and pluck, nonetheless.
If you thought CrossFit was challenging,
2. Underwater hockey
Also known as octopush, underwater hockey involves two teams hitting the pool and competing to push a puck into the opposing team’s underwater goal using a small pusher stick. Players are equipped with snorkels, fins, diving masks and large gloves. This non-contact sport’s origins go back to training exercises created by the British navy in the 1950s to keep divers in top form. A dynamic and challenging sport, it’s played around the globe (
3. Chess boxing
Chess boxing combines the discipline of chess with the sweet science of boxing. The sport, which was
4. Egg throwing
Simplicity is key when it comes to oddball activities. In the case of egg throwing, the point is to catch the precious shelled cargo in a variety of ways without breaking it, from a simple catch-and-throw to trebuchet release and targeted throwing. Egg throwing is an English sport –
6. Toe wrestling
Most of us have probably heard of thumb wrestling, but according to English tradition, it’s something you can do with your feet, too. Toe wrestling originated in England in the 1970s and it’s about as simple as it sounds. Competitors shed their socks and shoes and “wrestle” using their big toes (toes must be fungus-free to compete, and yes, there’s an inspection before play). The player that can pin their opponent’s toe down with theirs wins the day. The
7. Sepak Takraw
Sepak Takraw, which is also known as kick volleyball, combines both volleyball and soccer. It’s an ancient game that started in Southeast Asia. To play, teams of two to four players meet on a court divided by a net. The teams must keep a small rattan ball in the air for as long as possible without using their hands to do so (legs, head, chest and feet are allowed). The game, which is the national sport of Malaysia, has only increased in popularity since after World War II and is even played in
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