Kila Raipur's Rural Olympics Are Like None Other

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If you think Olympic athletes that have four years to train in between events have it rough, then you haven't met the sportsmen and women that participate in the Kila Raipur Olympics. Not only do they compete every year, but also, do so in 'sporting events' that require very unusual skills and in some cases, almost inhuman strength. Also, even though the villagers don't spend millions of dollars on special venues, shows and firework extravaganzas, these games appear to be much more fun than the real deal!

Now in its 77th year, the four-day event, which was took place in the village Kila Raipur in the Indian state of Punjab from January 31st to February 3rd, was the brainchild of a local man by the name of Inder Singh Grewal, who wanted to organize an event which would allow farmers to showcase their skills, uphold their culture and just have a good time.

Over the years, it has become extremely popular and now includes not just the farmers, but also some of the world's finest athletes, ranging from 7-70 years of age. In keeping up with times, the over 50 events, range from modern day sports like hockey and track to traditional ones such as tug-of-war and even Kabaddi, a team sport that combines the characteristics of wrestling and rugby.

However, the ones that attract the biggest crowds are the real unusual events like the four-lane bullock races, where bulls galloping at high speeds race against each other, with their jockeys balanced rather precariously on small carts. Another unusual but equally fun sport is tent pegging, where competitors pierce planted pegs, whilst riding on horses at high speeds. Then there is the event that challenges competitors to lift bicycles with their teeth or better still, use their pearly whites to pull a car. If that is not extreme enough for you how about this? A competition that entails allowing a tractor to roll over a competitor's lower body!

All in all, the four-day event not only tests the strength and endurance of its athletes, but also incorporates light-hearted fun. The best part is that unlike other sporting events, there is no age barrier to entering any sport. It's therefore no wonder that that over 4,000 competitors and over a million spectators flock in to the tiny village of Kila Raipur, each year!


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