The soccer World Cup and the Olympic Games are the biggest sporting events in the world. There are also many different sports and competitions which you may not know about. Here is a selection of some of the most unusual.
1. Wife Carrying
Every year the Wife Carrying World Championship takes place in the town of Sonkajärvi in the eastern part of Finland.
The rules are easy, just pick up your wife (or partner) and carry her (or him!) to the finish line as fast as possible. The winning time for 1999 was included in the Guinness Book of Records.
2. Underwater Rugby
The game of underwater rugby is played in a swimming pool. There are two teams, and eleven players on each team. The idea is to get the ball into the basket of the other team. The baskets are at the bottom of the pool and the ball is heavier than an ordinary ball. Fantastic!
3. The Todd River Regatta
Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia is situated near the Todd River. Each year there is a regatta on the river. You may not think this is so unusual. The thing is, the river bed is dry. It doesn’t have any water! Groups get together and make 'boats' which they then race down the river bed.
4. Tuna Throwing
Every year on January 26th and 27th you can enjoy a very interesting sports competition which takes place in Port Lincoln, South Australia – tuna throwing. The contestants swing the frozen fish around above their heads (a rope is tied to fish’s tail) and then throw it as far as they can.
Sean Carlin used to be an Olympic athlete. He’s the absolute champion in the tuna-throwing competition. His record is 37.23 meters.
A tuna fish can weigh more than 50kg which is nearly as much as an adult human!
5. Cheese Chasing
The Cheese chasing competition takes place every year in an English village called Brockworth in Gloucestershire on May 22nd. People run after a round cheese which is rolled down a hill.
In the past, the local council has banned the competition because of injury. Local people get too drunk before they run down the hill after the cheese. People break arms and legs when they run, and fall, down the hill.
If you catch a cheese, you can keep it, but the cheese is nearly always the winner!
6. Ditch and Bog Snorkelling
Maybe the craziest of this collection of unusual sports is ditch or bog snorkelling. A ditch in Spanish is ‘Zanja’ or ‘acequia’ (‘arroyo’ Am.L), and people who live in parts of East England and Wales put on wetsuits (trajes de neopreno), snorkels and masks(tubos y gafas de buceo,) and flippers (aletas) and swim inside drainage ditches (zanjas de drenaje) and peat bogs (zonas pantanosas de turba).
Because the ditches are very dirty and muddy, the competitors wear masks to protect their eyes. The water is so dirty that the competitors can’t even see their hands in front of their faces!
If you would like to take part in this event (are you crazy enough?), an international peat bog competition takes place every year near Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, in the middle of Wales on the first Monday in August.
If you like cycling, why not try a similar event on a mountain bike?
7. The Beer Can Regatta
We go back to the wonderful country of Australia, and at Mindil Beach in Darwin we can see a sailing regatta every year during the dry season. The unusual thing about this regatta is that all of the boats are made from empty beer cans!
Answer the following questions.
Which unusual sport……
1. uses a ball?
2. involves a member of the family?
3. involves food?
4. can you break a part of your body?
5. uses a big fish?
6. is in a river with no water?
7. can you do on a bike?
8. can you win by staying in the same place?
9. Is played in a swimming pool?
10. Uses things that you would usually throw away?
To stay in the same place
= quedarse en el mismo sitio
To throw away = tirar
Read the text again and find the English equivalents to these Spanish words and expressions
Cauce (de un río)
Match the particles with the following verbs to form four phrasal verbs which are in the previous text.
realizarse / hacerse / tener lugar To pick
levantar To take
participar To run