Sports have been part of human lives for thousands of years. There are cave paintings depicting people enjoying sports dating back to 3000 BC. People enjoy sports for a wide variety of reasons, from them being a recreational activity to improving fitness and from wanting to be part of a team to earning a living from being a professional sportsperson. The activities you are about to read about are not found on sports betting sites, but you can see footage of them on YouTube if you search hard enough.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title is the most prestigious belt you can receive in the boxing world, yet hundreds of athletes harbor dreams of becoming Chess Boxing champions of the world. As the name of the sport suggests, Chess Boxing combines chess with a boxing match!
The concept of Chess Boxing first appeared in 1979 in the kung fu film Mystery of Chessboxing. It took another 24 years before the first recognized chess boxing competition took place, doing so in Berlin, Germany. The World Chessboxing Association and the World Chess Boxing Organisation were created to unify the rules.
The rules are simple and combine blitz chess with a boxing match. Chess rounds are played under time control with a total of nine minutes allotted to each player, while the boxing rounds each last three minutes. Players can win by knockout or technical knockout in boxing, checkmate in chess, or if the other player quits. If the battle ends in a draw, one more boxing round takes place, with the winner being the fighter that is ahead on boxing points at the end of the bout.
Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event first held in 1826 during the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester in the United Kingdom. Traditionally, the event was only open to locals, but these days, people travel from as far as Australia and New Zealand to compete.
From the top of Cooper’s Hulk, a 7-9 pounds round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down the hill, and the aim of the game is to run after it and catch it before it reaches the bottom of the 200-yard run.
The long-standing tradition almost always results in a handful of racers suffering injuries, some quite severe because the hill is steep, which results in some spectacular, often bone-breaking falls.
Often abbreviated to EI, Extreme Ironing is widely considered tongue-in-cheek, yet it has a massive following worldwide. The “sport” was invented in Leicester, United Kingdom, in 1997 by a local man called Phil Shaw. Shaw’s wife left him several chores to complete, one of which was ironing. Shaw preferred rock climbing over ironing clothes, so he combined both activities, and extreme ironing was born!
Extreme ironers take photos and shoot movie clips of them ironing in the strangest, sometimes most dangerous places. Ironing on rock faces is common, although there is footage of people ironing at the base camp of Mount Everest, in the middle of a freeway, while Roland Piccoli of Italy ironed a T-shirt 42 meters underwater in 2018.
Believe it or not, there are world championships in wife-carrying, which originated in Finland but is also popular in nearby Estonia and Sweden. It has since spread to become a global phenomenon.
This sport sees men carry their wives or a neighbor’s wife across a 253.5-meter course consisting of two dry obstacles and one water obstacle that is one meter deep. The rules are simple, as you would expect. The wife must weigh at least 49 kilograms. She must be carried on the husband’s back, either in a classic piggyback, a fireman’s carry (over the shoulder), or Estonian-style, where the wife is upside-down on her husband’s back with her legs over his neck and shoulders!
Finland’s Taisto Miettinen is the master of wife-carrying, having won 13 medals during his career.
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