Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Strange But True Sports from Around the World 3

Posted on February 09, 2017 by Angela Tempest

cheese-rollingSport is a massive part of many people’s lives, whether as something that they participate in, go to watch in person or enjoy watching on the TV.  From football and cricket to rugby, athletics and American football, there are lots of sports that cross borders and are popular around the world.  Then there are the weird sports you don’t know about, the ones that might not get their own TV channel or massive Facebook following…

Oil Wrestling

Many fans of wrestling will have seen the big names engaged in competitions under spotlights with hundreds of fans cheering them on.  Oil wrestling doesn’t have quite the same following but is popular across Turkey, Greece and parts of Macedonia.  There is an annual festival in Kirkpinar, Turkey that dates back to 1357.  The idea is simple – participants are covered in olive oil and have to wrest their opponent to the ground.  It has recently spread to Japan and Netherlands among other locations.

Zorbing

Zorbing is a bit of a mixture of sports and fitness and involves people getting into giant plastic inflatable orbs and running down a gentle slope.  You can also do it on a level area if you want a little more control.  People race each other and there can be plenty of good natured collisions to knock your friend out of position but it doesn’t seem likely to be enrolled in the Olympics any time soon!

Cheese rolling

This one comes from Gloucester in the UK where every last weekend in May (a Bank Holiday) people gather to roll a three-kilogram wheel of cheese down Cooper’s Hill in the city.  People don’t race cheeses but actually race each other and the first person to pass the finish line, after the cheese, wins the title – and the cheese.  But beware – this cheese can hit 30mph so some training is required beforehand. Read the rest of this entry →

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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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