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Sunday, February 17, 2013

India's Rural Olympics

Being run over by a tractor, carrying bricks with your teeth and cow chariot racers: Fascinating pictures of India's bizarre Rural Olympics 

If you thought some of the events in the London 2012 Olympic Games looked gruelling then think again. 
These bizarre pictures show competitors taking part in India's Rural Olympics. And the sports are not for the fainthearted. 
Games include being run over by farm machinery, bullock chariot racing, horseback acrobatics and other weird demonstrations of strength. 


Painful: A man lies under a tractor as a test of strength during the Indian Rural Olympics
Painful: A man lies under a tractor as a test of strength during the Indian Rural Olympics
Amazing test of dental strength: A man lifts a plough with his mouth at the Rural Olympics in India
Amazing test of dental strength: A man lifts a plough with his mouth at the Rural Olympics in India
Bizarre: This competitor proved he had what it took to lift two bicycles with his teeth
Bizarre: This competitor proved his strength by lifting two bicycles with his teeth
Formally known as the Kila Raipur Sports Festival, competitors range in age from teenagers to pensioners. 
There is even a 100metre race for the over 80s. 

Around a million people attend the annual sporting event which has now become an important part of IndiaĆ¢€™s Punjab culture. 
Spectators travel from all over the world to the village of Kila Raipur to attend the games which attracts more than 4,000 sportsmen and women every February. 
That's got to hurt: A tractor drives over Balbir Singh (right) and Lakha Singh (left) at India's   Rural Olympics
That's got to hurt: A tractor drives over Balbir Singh (right) and Lakha Singh (left) at India's Rural Olympics
Built strong: Man carries bricks with his teeth

Built strong: Man pulls a tractor with his teeth
Built strong: A man carries 26 bricks with teeth while another participant uses his dentures to pull a tractor 
A man takes part in a turban tying competition

Rural Olympics
Unusual: A man takes part in a turban tying competition (left) while another shows off his stunts on a motorbike (right)
Villagers performing the traditional dance of Punjab, the Bhangra, at the Rural Olympics
Villagers performing the traditional dance of Punjab, the Bhangra, at the Rural Olympics

The festival has become an international hit for its more unusual sports categories.  
Categories include holding bicycles in teeth and pulling vehicles with hair.
Bullocks, camels, dogs and other animals also compete in their own events. 
Proving there is no age limit these sprightly runners took part in the over 80 race won by Teja Singh
Proving there is no age limit these sprightly runners took part in the over 80 race won by Teja Singh
Celebration: Crowds gather to watch the displays during the   Rural Olympics in India
Celebration: Crowds gather to watch the displays during the Rural Olympics in India
The bullock cart race is the main attraction with the winner taking home a cash prize. 
The three-day event is a celebration of rural life in India's farming and has taken place every year since 1933.

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