1. Wife Carrying
Meet Taisto Miettinen, a respected lawyer, licentiate, and published author by day, and four-time winner of the Wife Carrying World Championship by…later in the day. Talk about hidden talents.
Gurning: the sport of distorting one face into the most comedically exaggerated state their flesh will allow.
Tommy Mattinson: reigning champ of the Gurning World Championship and a man whose face may literally be made of rubber. Just sayin’.
3. Cheese Rolling
Nobody ever told American Kenny Rackers not to play with his food. Which is probably why he walked away from the annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling competition with top honors. Your country salutes you.
4. Air Guitar
Top US Air Guitar Championship contender Matthew “Aristotle” Burns may not have an epic viking beard or too-tight leather pants to back up his abilities, but you know what he does have? Spunk. And more energy than a chihuahua after a keg of Red Bull.
5. Rock Paper Scissors
You probably didn’t think that a game you picked up on the kindergarten playground could earn you national renown. Chance played no part in Amy Rowe being crowned Queen Bee at the UK Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship — it was all skill.
6. Toe Wrestling
Like all good things in this world, the UK Toe Wrestling Championship owes its humble roots to bored people in a pub. Champions like Alan “Nasty” Nash, however, have turned it into a celebrated sport with a dedicated following, all thanks to their surprisingly durable digits.
7. Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball
There are very few ways to improve dodgeball, the unequivocal crown jewel of everyone’s middle school PE experience. But tossing a trampoline into the mix doesn’t hurt. Team DOOM from Riverside, CA took international honors when they knocked Toronto out of the mix during the annual Ultimate Dodgeball Championship.
8. Egg Throwing
Few sports are as self-explanatory as the UK’s World Egg Throwing Championship (except for, you know, football maybe), where eggheads Richard Wells and Tom Harrison took top honors at last year’s competition.
9. Chess Boxing
A true test of brains and brawn, chess boxing pits two combatants against one another in alternating rounds of speed chess and fisticuffs. The end result is a flurry of pawns and punches, topped by noted heavyweights like Nikolay “The Chairman” Sazhin, reigning champ of the World Chess Boxing Organization.
10. Canine Freestyle Dancing
“Are you not entertained?!”
1) Something that canine freestyler Thierry Thomas no doubt shouted during his winning Gladiator-inspired routine at the Dog Dancing World Championship.
2) Something that nobody ever has to ask themselves when they’re watching a dog dance like a person.