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Horsing Around Is a Competitive Sport in Finland

Imagine a sport much like equestrian show jumping, but where the horse is replaced by a wooden stick with a plush toy at one and the rider actually does all the jumping over increasingly difficult hurdles. That’s the popular sport of Competitive Hobbyhorsing in a nutshell.

The hobby horse is one of the oldest children’s toys still used today. Many of us remember prancing around in the yard on a stick imagining that it was a noble steed, but for the tens of thousands of members of the hobbyhorsing community in Finland, riding a toy horse is more than just a game. Many of them train for hours and hours on a daily basis and regularly take part in large-scale show jumping competitions where they try to impress judges with their posture, footwork and jumping.

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Step into the Adrenaline-Filled World of Competitive Swinging

For most of us, swinging 360 degrees around the spindle of a swing set is a distant childhood dream, but for a group of adrenaline seekers in Estonia, it’s a passion they never grew out of. Not only do they still love defying gravity, but they actually created a competitive sport around their favorite pastime. That sport is known as “kiiiking”.

Swings are deeply embedded in Estonian culture, and you can still find various types of swings in villages and towns all around the country. They are used by children and adults alike, either for simple fun, or as a way for communities to bond during celebrations. So maybe it doesn’t come as a big surprise that Estonia has an extreme sport based on swinging. Some people see it as dull, others as pointless, but to those who practice it, kiiking is the coolest thing in the world.

As you might remember, swinging around the spindle of some playground swings was possible, but at the same time dangerous. From simple bruises to broken bones and concussions, there were a lot of things that could go wrong during such an attempt, which is why in 1993, an Estonian man by the name of Ado Kosk created a pair of wooden swings designed specifically for going all the way around the spindle. They were rudimentary contraptions made up of simple levers with a pair of wooden rods attached to a flat seat on one end and the rotating spindle on the other. Nobody knew it at the time, but that was when kiiking was born.

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At 7-Foot-7, This 16-Year-Old Is the Second Tallest Basketball Player in the World and Taller Than Anyone in the NBA

Robert Bobroczky, a 7-foot-7, 16-year-old freshman at SPIRE Institute, a state-of-the-art international academy in Geneva, Ohio, is set to become the tallest player to ever play in the NBA and of the tallest in the history of the sport.

Bobroczky, a native of Romania, has been described as “so tall he doesn’t look real”. At age 12, he was already 7 feet tall, and although his growth rate has slowed down over the last four years, he is still on track to become the eighteenth person in medical history to reach or surpass eight feet in height. Unfortunately, his weight has been having trouble keeping up with his growth, and at 7-foot-7, he weighs only 190 pounds. Robert is honing is skills on the basketball court, but if he is to reach the NBA, the first priority is bulking up.

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Chubby Parkour Master Will Blow Your Mind with His Insane Skills

Sébastien Charron doesn’t look like your average parkour enthusiast. Instead of a lean muscular physique, he sports a prominent belly and obviously high body fat percentage, features not usually associated with a sport that requires impeccable physical conditioning. But as soon as you see him in action, you are reminded of the old saying “you should never judge a book by its covers.”

Dubbed a “real-life Kung Fu Panda”, Charron is actually an inspiration for average guys everywhere that nothing is impossible. He started practicing parkour a decade ago, and became really good at it, but after five years he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the side effects of his prescribed medication forced him to take a break from what he loved doing most. The treatment and lack of physical activity also caused him to gain massive weight in a relatively short period of time, but he never gave up on his passion. He recently started training again, and although he admits that the thick layer of fat makes working on his jumps and vaults tougher than before, he somehow manages to make it work.

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Introducing Dødsing – The Craziest Sport to Ever Come Out of Norway

When jumping off a diving board, a belly flop is not the outcome most people are looking for, but for those competing in the crazy Norwegian sport of Dødsing, hitting the water belly first is a risk that comes with the territory.

Dødsing, or “Death Diving”, is a Norwegian extreme sport that has daredevils jumping from a 10-meter-high board with their arms and legs spread out in an x-formation. The goal is to keep the pose for as long as possible and curl your body slightly right before hitting the water to prevent injuries. At the World Dødsing Championship, a wacky competition held every summer since 2008, the diver who manages to remain flat the longest during their jump is pronounced the winner.

But there are plenty of fearless dødsing divers at the world championship, so in order to determine the winner, judges also take into account other factors, such as the speed, height and power of the jump, the originality of the jumping style and the spray produced when hitting the water.

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Canadian Axe-Throwing Bar Proves Big Hit

Combining razor-sharp axes and alcohol sounds like a very bad idea, but it seems to be working for the Timber Lounge, a popular axe-throwing bar in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Timber Lounge offers patrons sick of urban sports like bowling, darts or pool a new way to unwind. Axe-throwing has long been a popular pastime among lumberjacks in Nova Scotia, and Darren Hudson, a fifth-generation sawmill operator from Shelburne County, decided to bring it to the masses. He partnered with fellow axe-throwing enthusiast Marc Chisholm and together they founded the city’s first axe-throwing lounge. Adrenalin junkies can get their fix by balancing sharp hatchets and double-edged axes over their heads before hurling them at painted wooden bullseyes. Between sessions, they can step into the lounge area to enjoy Nova Scotia food and craft beers.

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11-Year-Old Skips Rope 108 Times in 30 Seconds, Sets New World Record

11-year-old Cen Xiaolin can move his legs faster than most people can count. The boy recently set a new rope skipping world record by completing a whopping 108 skips in just 30 seconds!

That’s so fast that you can’t even see the rope. In fact, judges at the first World Inter-School Rope Skipping Championships, in Dubai, simply couldn’t keep up with him. They were unable to count Cen’s steps while he was skipping, as it was all a bit of a blur. They had to rewatch the footage in slow-motion eight times to verify the exact number of steps. Later, he broke another record by skipping 548 times in three minutes.

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Extreme Handskating – German Daredevil Skates with His Hands

As if rollerblading wasn’t difficult enough, this guy from Germany actually skates on his hands! Mirko Hanßen claims to have invented the sport of ‘handskating’ himself, and he’s currently the best (and only) hand skater in the world.

Mirko has always loved skating and handstands, and one day at dinner, he thought of combining the two, on a whim. He made his first attempt in his bedroom that night, putting his hands in his rollerblades and attempting a headstand. He hardly managed to prop himself up before he came crashing down on the floor.

But Hanßen would not give up. With more practice, he was able to stand on his hands and even glide forward. He soon took his sport outdoors to the streets, practicing on bike lanes but when motorists proved to distracting, he moved to more obscure locations, like back alleys, which also ensured no one could copy his unique sport. “I’ve always made sure that nobody is filming me with their smartphone,” he said. Eventually, he got pretty good at handskating and started posting videos of himself online. He’s able to do backflips, skate on ramps, and even skate on just one hand.

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Quirky ‘Arse Bombing’ Sport Is All About Making a Splash

A cannonball splash is the easiest (and most fun) way to dive, but did you know it’s a legitimate sport as well? It’s officially called ‘splashdiving’, but fans lovingly refer to it as ‘arse bombing’!

While regular divers are judged on how smoothly they land in the water, in splashdiving it’s the exact opposite that counts – points are awarded for the size of the splash created on impact. That sounds painful, but leading competitors say it doesn’t really hurt as much as you’d think. “The pain is minimal,” according to the reigning arse-bombing world champion Rainhard Riede from Bavaria.  And in the words of arse-bomber Lukas Eglseder, “You get used to it.”

Splashdiving has its own set of rules, and believe it or not, competitors can choose from 13 different styles of diving. The classic ‘arse bomb’ involves landing bum first with the knees tucked into the stomach. Other techniques include ‘the cat’, ‘the chair’, and ‘the plank’. Contestants are required to announce their moves in advance, and are given four chances to make a big impression.

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Fowling, a Quirky Sport That Combines Football and Bowling

A new sport that combines football and bowling is taking Michigan by storm. Fowling is the brainchild of entrepreneur Chris Hutt who’s so confident the hybrid sport is going to be huge that  he  has converted a 34,000-square-foot industrial site into what he calls the Fowling Warehouse.

Hutt said that he invented the game years ago along with a few buddies, while tailgating at the Indianapolis 500. It started off as an accident, when a couple of guys were playing catch with a football and someone made a bad pass. The ball rolled and knocked over a few bowling pins that were lying around. Inspiration struck right at that magical moment, and fowling (pronounced foal-ing) was born. Hutt and his friends quickly set up a few spare pins at the end of the lane and knocked them out with the football all day, making up the rules as they went along. And by the end of the day, they had the entire sport fleshed out.

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Game of Drones – Australia’s Awesome Underground Drone Racing League

Drone racing is a mushrooming trend in Australia, catering to a growing band of enthusiasts looking to fulfill their need for speed. The races, organised by underground ‘leagues’, generally take place in rundown warehouses, farms, and go-kart tracks in the fringe suburbs of various cities.

The relatively unknown sport is called FPV (first person racing). Participants spend countless hours custom building their quadcopters, fitting them with onboard cameras and ‘blinging’ them up with LED lights. During the actual events, racers don special goggles – sometimes held together with gaffer tape – to give them a drone’s-eye view as they steer their machines around the course. So it’s a lot like video gaming, except players get to control a real device instead of a virtual one.

“It’s addictive. It’s like playing a video game,” says drone racer Darren French, who has clocked over 60 kmph. “It’s fast. The more you do it, the more you want to fly.”

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Chinese Football Fans Build Their Own Pitch on Roof of Car Park Building

A group of football fans in Zhenzhou, China, have literally taken football to new heights by building their very own 900-square-meter pitch on the roof of a car park building, right in the city center.

XuGong, the mastermind behind this impressive undertaking, told Chinese media that he has been a huge football fan since childhood, but growing up in Zhengzhou city, he always had problems finding a venue to practice his favorite sport. The only available one was located too far away and he could only use it once a week. After nearly a decade of frustration, Xu decided to fix the problem by building a pitch of his own. He convinced his friends and fellow football fans to pool all their savings into building their very own football field, but finding a piece of land in their busy city was a huge challenge. After months of searching, they came up with the genius idea on the roof of a building.

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Medieval Fighting Meets MMA in Russia’s Newest Combat Sport

While Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) matches generally incorporate striking and grappling techniques from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts, the use of medieval fighting techniques is unheard of. Until now, that is. St. Petersburg based MMA promotion M-1 Global plans to introduce a new kind of MMA events featuring sword-wielding knights in armor, called M-1 Medieval.

It all started when M-1 had the brilliant idea of staging medieval sword fights as filler during MMA events last year. The response was so phenomenal that they decided to make this unique form of mixed martial arts a permanent fixture. The first official M-1 Medieval division fight took place on April 10 in Moscow. “I liked the fans’ reaction when we did it for the first time in St. Petersburg at M-1 Challenge 50,” said M-1 president Vadim Finkelchtein. “They seemed to really like it. They were impressed and supported the knights. So, I thought it was worth continuing.”

“At the time, the knight-fight was to fill the pause between the undercard and main card fights,” he added. “If we find enough fighters to make enough fights, we will have a separate medieval show with its own weight categories, title fights and champions.”

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Chinese Athlete Has Sights Set on Butt Skipping Record

Butt skipping is like a bizarre cousin of jumping rope – it involves bouncing up and down on your behind while twirling a rope underneath. The relatively lesser-known sport has gained prominence in south east Asia ever since a Japanese athlete took the world title in 2006. Now, Chinese gymnastics expert Yi Zhihua has set his heart on becoming the world champion.

20-year-old Zhihua wants to beat the world record of 166 butt skips in one minute and says he’s nearly accomplished the feat during training. “I’m up to 152 per minute – you have to get through the pain barrier but after that when your butt is numb you can really notch up the numbers,” he explained. “I am pretty certain I will have it cracked within the week and will start the New Year as the world champion.”

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SnookBall – A Sport That Lets You Play Billiards with Your Feet

SnookBall is a combination of snooker and football – it’s crazy fun because you actually get to kick the balls into pockets instead of using a cue stick. The sport is played on a giant billiards table that multiple players can walk on. All the rules are the same as snooker, except that you use your feet instead of a cue and the balls are replaced by footballs.

The wacky sport is the brainchild of a couple of French entrepreneurs – Aurélien and Samuel – who are well known for their weird ideas. It is generally a two player game, but the table can accommodate up to four players. All the footballs retain the look of standard billiards balls, but are obviously larger and lighter. The white striker ball is slightly heavier than the rest, just to make the game more interesting.

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