Ever watched Olympic curling and thought how in the world it became an Olympic sport? But hey, let’s face it, the world is filled with stranger examples. Now that the 2014 Olympic Winter Games are over, we can look to what comes next. The imagination runs wild with possibilities! To wit, we present our tour of our favorite oh-please-it-would-be-great-but-it’s-not-Olympic world sports.
Wife Carrying (Finland)
Ah Scandinavia. From the region that brought Ikea’s DIY tears-of-anguish and soaked-in-acid lutefisk culinary “delights,” perhaps we shouldn’t expect anything less than world-class weirdness. Let’s thank the Finns, though, for upping the ante with its annual wife-carrying competition. Believe it or not, there are actual rules (e.g. no carrying off women who weren’t your wife at the starting line) for which we remain grateful. – h/t Lonely Planet
Canal Vaulting (Netherlands)
The Dutch may not be slinging their spouses of their shoulder for fun and kicks but they still know how to have a good ol’ heart-pounding time. These folks prefer their kicks at great heights and distances, with poles sunk in the water and an occasional dunking if they get the vault over the canal wrong. If pole vaulting is too much for you, the Dutch also offer pole sitting … as a sport. – h/t New York Times
Pig-n-Ford Race (USA)
Everyone knows that Americans love their cars. Well, if the typical American breakfast of eggs comes with a side of bacon, why not the same for a car race? Drivers in classic Model T Fords have been squealing around the race track with pigs — real pigs! — squealing in their lap since the first race took place at the Tillamook County Fair in 1925. Folks, you simply cannot make this stuff up. – h/t Car & Driver
The Americans — south, central, and north — have much more to offer than pork to the world. A Belgian resident of Spain visited Brazil and was so very inspired by its sports and music scene that he decided to create a sport in tribute. Bossaball more than nods to the influence of music on the fun, it requires it as part of its volleyball-like game play. We challenge you to not dance just watching this rules video. – h/t Discovery
Sepak takraw (Malaysia)
Bossaball may be the new kid on the block, but it’s not the first to welcome feet at the volleyball net. In fact, Malaysia’s kick volleyball has its history in the 15th century. Unfortunately, the first recorded account includes an accidental death that lead to a murder and a retaliatory clan fight. Ugh. Weird history aside, game play, which has spread throughout Southeast Asia, is far, far calmer and well-regulated these days. – h/t Wikipedia
Night Runners (Kenya)
“Well-regulated” may be the marker of anything that desires to be called a sport. And that’s why the president of Kenya’s Night Runners Organisation has come out on the record in favor of official status and state support. Since the runners main activity appears to be dashing through the dark of the Lake Victoria region in nothing more than a smile (i.e., nude), most of the public remains skeptical. Kenya may be famous for its runners but, er, a dressing down by officials seems more likely here, no matter what their (or our) Olympic hopes might hold. – h/t BBC News
We have no doubt that the world is filled with many more wacky examples. Share your own in the comments.