With the Commonwealth Games, thankfully, in its long-awaited and well-deserved final death throes, promoters and politicians will no doubt be looking around for something to make them more money, and more relevant.
Could we respectfully suggest contracting cancer?
Failing that, they could do worse than looking more closely at three ‘new and emerging’ sports which could package together quite nicely for the sort of event that a nation like, say, America, could really use right now. You know, something to distract everyone from their march towards violence and Far Right lunacy.
It might even form the basis of an ‘Alternative Olympics’, where drug cheating is pointless, where outfits matter, and where we all celebrate the gentler aspects of the human spirit. And maybe a little harmless delusion as well.
Over to the future of sport, as it hopefully might look in our dystopian future….
The beautiful game, but more fabulous
Introducing Discofoot, a relatively new sport out of Europe which looks kind of like what a group of ADHD kids do when they lose focus on the game at hand. Or maybe what might happen if a soccer match broke out in the exercise yard of an asylum, which happened to house the victims of a severe bout of mental illness that recently swept through a very talented dance company. Only significantly more fabulous, obviously.
Discofoot emerged in 2016 as an ‘alternative’ to soccer. And not before time. The point of the game – indeed the most important rule – is to score as creatively as possible… that is to say, you must stay in motion, dancing, throughout the match, while you try and put the ball in the opponent’s net.
The second most important rule, apparently, is that both teams must wear gold-coloured hot pants. Thank God for Discofoot.
And if you reckon it’s all puff, no skill, then watch from 5:40…. it’s unlikely there’s many football pros at the World Cup who can pull off some of these moves without tearing a something-or-other.
Cute, but also a little unsettling… but still cute
Then there’s Hobby Horsing, which has recently caught on in Europe. As the name implies, it involves hobby horses – the things kids from a previous century used to ride around in the backyard, owing to a lack of real ponies.
But the sport of Hobby Horsing takes that casual backyard pursuit to the next level, and then some, with (mostly) young girls dressing in ‘horsie outfits’ (jodhpurs etc) and prancing around a ring, like they were performing dressage… except no horse is involved.
There’s a showjumping aspect as well, which is about as athletic as you think it is, making Hobby Horsing possibly the weirdest sport in the world. It’s so weird, in fact, that at first blush, it genuinely looks like a piss-take. But it’s not – this video is from a recent competition in Finland, which attracted more than 400 competitors.
Refined and classy… ish
And finally, there’s the sport of freestyle canoeing, which first rose to prominence more than a decade ago, when American comedy Portlandia took the piss out of it.
But, like Hobby Horsing, it is a real thing. Indeed, it’s hard to tell the difference between Portlandia’s send up, and the real deal.
As for a description of the action…? It’s probably best just to watch. Maybe with a glass of something. Or six. Below is a performance from Marc Ornstein (the bad boy of Freestyle Canoeing) at the 2007 Mid-West Freestyle Canoe Championships in the US. Unusually, the comments at the bottom of the video are worth diving into (a nice change).
All up, the three events offer something you don’t see in modern sport these days… we’re not sure entirely what that is, but it’s definitely not a bad thing.
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