Weird and wonderful
World exclusive… secret footage of the Veggielympics 2012
No tickets for the Olympics? Not to worry, we have the next best thing. Just in time for the Olympics in London (only 11 days to go!), the world’s first Veggielympics took place in the world-famous 9flats Kitchenette Stadium.
You’re one of the lucky few to see exclusive footage of our very own biodegradable athlete, Babe Root, sweating his way through 7 sporting disciplines…
Warning: this post contains vegetable-related puns that some viewers may find offensive.
1. Weightlifting, Greece
We’ve been fascinated with what our bodies are capable of for many hundreds of years. Weight training looks to have begun in Ancient Greece when wrestler Milo of Croton trained by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day until it was fully grown.
Did you know? The heaviest weight ever lifted during Olympic games was an impressive 263.5kg by Iran’s Hossein Rezazadeh, that’s roughly the same as five flyweight boxers put together.
2. Archery, Europe
We’ve been using bows and arrows for as long as 25,000 years: originally as hunting tools and weapons. The bow and arrow experienced a revival in the late 18th century when there was a fashion for all things gothic and medieval, and the longbow made a good fashion accessory. It’s been an official sport since the 19th century.
Did you know? A young Robin Hood managed to break the world record in flight archery (long distance shooting) at the age of 14. His arrow flew 500m: 150m further than the previous world record.
Diving as a sport began when Swedish and German gymnasts started doing their summer training on the beach, and performing aerial gymnastics above the water. The earliest major diving competition recorded took place in 1871 off the London Tower Bridge which, from a height of 65m.
Did you know? There’s a particularly tricky jump called the ‘plunge for distance’, a combination of diving and the long jump, which only appeared once at the Olympics, in 1904 in St Louis, United States.
4. Rowing, London
Rowing is one of the oldest sports in the world. Even when it was still mainly used for trading over water, people were having races and a bit of fun. Modern rowing races as we know them now, began as competitions between professional watermen that provided taxi services on the River Thames in London.
Did you know? In 1884 French Nobleman Tanneguy DeWogan built a boat out of compressed paper and covered more than 4000 km with it without a single leak! Read more.
5. Water polo, Holland
The oldest recorded appearance of water polo dates back to 18th century Holland. Players literally played ‘polo in the water’ i.e. on horseback in the sea. Later, they played on wooden barrels. The version we know today emerged in England during the 19th century. It used to be a very brutal sport and it was not unusual to have unconscious bodies floating around in the water. Nice.
Did you know? The most (in)famous game was played during the summer Olympics 1956 in Melbourne, Australia. Just before the games started, 200,000 Soviet Union troops occupied Hungary to suppress an uprising. Murphy’s law: Hungary ended up playing the Soviet team in the semi-finals. The game turned so violent, the referee had to call it off minutes before the end to avoid the audience reacting to the punch a Russian player gave a Hungarian player in the eye. More water polo trivia.
6. Golf, Scotland
There are debates as to whether golf originated in Rome or China, but the game as we now know it emerged in Scotland. The Scots were such passionate golf players that between 1457 and 1502 King James II even saw himself forced to forbid this sport. He worried that too many Scottish men were wasting their time on golf courses rather than getting ready for an English invasion.
Did you know? In 1971, Alan Shepard became the first man to play golf on the moon. He smuggled a golf club and ball onto the mission in his space suit and just before the end of his moonwalk and lift-off he hit two balls and drove them “miles and miles and miles”.
7. Basketball, USA
Unlike other sports, basketball’s origin is easy to place. It was invented in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Canadian Dr. James Naismith. He needed to come up with a game for YMCA Athletes to play inside during the cold winters. His inspiration came from the game ‘duck-on-a-rock’ which he had played in Canada as boy. It involved hitting a large object (the duck) off from where it was perched by throwing small rocks at it.
Did you know? When women first started playing basketball, they weren’t allowed to steal the ball. It was considered unladylike! More basketball fun facts.
Any mad sporting facts you know? Let us know in the comments!
(Are you looking for last-minute accommodation in London? Are you crazy! Actually no you’re not, we have some 9flats still available here, from only €32/night, which is amazing considering the inflated prices around this time.)
Babe Root, the making of…
It all began one day it was noticed that Jana’s piece of ginger looked remarkably human.
An apple, two kiwis, the ingredients for Ottolenghi’s amazing French bean salad, some chocolate crispies and two hazelnuts later and… well, the rest is sporting history.
Here are the other sports that didn’t quite make the cut. We’ll let you guess the sport this time.
Did he win?
We’re proud to say he won a gold (kiwi) in every sport he took part in. Which is why he’s understandably a bit exhausted right now. Goodnight from us, and we’ll see you in 2016…