Bizarre Sports and Their Icons

featured, Sports

There are some truly strange sports out there whose participants and pioneers have an unflinching commitment to their chosen art. Ranging from the impressive to the downright mental, here are some bizarre sports with their brightest stars.

Chili Eating

There are hundreds of chili eating contests organized around the world, devised to see who has the true asbestos lined tongues and stomachs. Gorging themselves on handfuls of the most fiery of chiles, contestants are invariably taken to hospital after the event, or thrown in the nearest lake to cool down.

chilie eater

Who’s the champ?

28 year old Indian woman Anadita Dutta Tamuly broke the Guinness World Record by eating 51 bhut jolokia chilis, which are recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the hottest chili in the world. Gordon Ramsay was at hand to witness the event and only managed one of the chiles, which mercifully shut him up for a bit. After her meal Anadita promptly smeared seeds from the chiles into her eyes. To this day nobody knows why. What happened when nature called is perhaps a question best left unanswered?

Sword Swallowing

Keeping with crazy consumption, sword swallowing has been a common practice amongst fairground wackos for many years. Exactly how do you get started in the game? Is there an academy for larynx laceration avoidance? Absolutely terrifying to watch, pass the guy some Strepsils!

sword swallower

Who’s the champ?

Again from India, Kishan Valaiah Ayula broke the Guinness World Record for a male by managing to swallow a gag-inducing 22 blades in one giddy gulp. Not content with this mighty swallow, Kishan then proceeded to break the record for most swords swallowed while juggling three objects (who makes these up?). He managed 17, bless him, and is available for children’s parties.


Much more of a sport this one. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art combining elements from fighting, dance and sports. Originating from the era of African slavery in Brazil, this unique martial art is simply stunning to watch, resembling Bruce Lee at a Prodigy concert.

Mestre Barrao

Who’s the champ?

There are many masters, but Mestre Barrao has done a huge amount for Capoeira, teaching schools around the world from Canada to Kazakhstan, Poland to Peru. Starting at 13 years of age, Mestre Barrao developed his skills learning the many different variations of the martial art, eventually being crowned Brazilian Champion in the National Capoeira Championships held in Rio de Janeiro. Make sure you hold the door open for him.

Lawn Mower Racing

Get your mower running…doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? Still, the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association (USLMRA) has been mowing strong since 1992, holding championships on lawns the world over, cutting the grass as they hit the gas.

lawn mower racing

Who’s the champ?

That has to be racer Bobby Cleveland, who through his constant practicing and unparalleled self mowtivation, managed to shatter the World Speed Record at Bonneville Salt Flats, with a trim speed of 81 mph. Of course, if he’d driven a proper car, he’d have reached…oh what’s the point, congratulations Bobby.

Chess Boxing

Just as its name suggests, this is a truly bonkers blend of boxing and chess, comprised of 11 alternating rounds of thought processes and fisticuffs. As mental as it sounds, this sport is actually governed by the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO), who have the mighty motto, “Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board.”


Who’s the champ?

Lennox Lewis is a keen chess player, but never had the vision to combine his two interests together. November 2009 saw the emergence of a new Light Heavyweight Champion in Leo ‘Granite’ Kraft, who dazzled opponent Nikolay ‘The Chairman’ Sazhin with his rook and left hook to win the title. Fusing chess and boxing, it’s probably the only sport in which players must have a checkered past.

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