Cheese Rolling

Cheese RollingThe Winter Olympics are kicking off next month, which means not only do we get to watch the best of the best compete, but we also get to see some unique (and occasionally crazy) winter sports. Sure, ice skating and skiing are really cool, but there’s something particularly fascinating about watching a man slide down a frozen track at frightening speeds on nothing but a tiny sled. Backwards. But trust us when we say that when it comes to sports, it gets crazier.

Don’t believe it? Check out some of these activities played all around the world—some of which we’d argue should be contenders for the next Olympics:

Cheese Rolling

Sounds fairly strange and innocent, right? Wrong. Cheese rolling is actually a race where people run down a dangerously steep hill to catch giant wheels of cheese—hopefully without falling and getting seriously injured. While this sport occurs in various places around the world, the most famous one is Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, which is held in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. The person who can catch the cheese or get to the bottom of the hill first is declared the winner and gets to take the big cheese home. And of course, there are the bragging rights.

(Image from Mirror)

Hurling

This ancient Gaelic game is the national sport of Ireland—and one of the most dangerous activities on this list. The point of the game is for players to use a big wooden stick, called a hurley, to hit a hard small ball between the opponent’s goalposts. Think of it as a mix between field hockey and American football. Even though players can easily get whacked with a hurley or hit by the ball, they’re only allowed to wear helmets. Ouch.

(Image from Irish Archaeology)

Muggle Quidditch

Inspired by the fictional game from the Harry Potter series, a bunch of college kids in the United States decided to make a version they could play too. Since they lacked the obvious ability to fly (an important element of the game in the book), Quidditch was adapted for play on the ground, using elements of various sports including dodgeball, rugby, lacrosse, and tag. As strange as it sounds, it’s pretty cool to watch.

(Image from Lawn Gnome Publisher)

Wife Carrying

Also known as “Eukonkanto,” this Finnish race involves men carrying women on their backs through an obstacle course that includes a 250-meter track and a water trap. A dropped wife or female friend results in a 15-second penalty for the team. And probably a few harsh words.

(Image from Outrageous Sports)

Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling

As if the Welsh sport of bog snorkeling wasn’t strange enough, mountain bike bog snorkeling takes it to the next level. During the race, participants wear snorkels and ride a specially prepared bicycle through two set courses in a peat bog, a type of wetland.