MOSCOW — Olympic Games, stand aside: the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan is hosting the World Nomad Games, a competition where polo players ditch their mallets and try to catch a dead goat instead.
The Games, which opened on Saturday on a picturesque mountain plain in eastern Kyrgyzstan, bring together athletes from 40 countries including Russia and the United States where nomadic traditions are strong.
The World Nomad Games features such unorthodox sports disciplines as eagle hunting and bone throwing. Arguably the highlight of the games is the horse-riding competition, called Kok-boru, which dates back to when men used to hunt wolves that preyed on their livestock. Fierce competition is also expected in “stick wrestling,” an event in which two competitors try to gain control of a small stick.