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With today’s sports media so myopically focused on the “commercial” sports (i.e., NBA basketball, ML baseball, NASCAR, the World Lawn Bowls Championship), too often do the lesser-known sporting events fall between the cracks. Well no more! In keeping with our self-imposed mandate of bringing you, our seven readers, the finest in mindless frippery (yes, that’s right – I dropped the “f-bomb”), we proudly present our weekly update on “Unknown Sports, Hobbies and Activities That No One Has Heard Of, Except The Participants And Their Mothers“:

Synchronized Diving

In the event that you have recently been dwelling in a cave lacking an internet connection and/or cable, the Federation Internationale de Natation’s synchronized diving circuit continued to rage this week in the home of under-aged drunken debauchery, nervous donkeys, and international diving (apparently) – Tijuana, Mexico.  The question on everyone’s mind, of course, was who would walk away with the coveted gold medal(s) in the 10-metre women’s event. Would Canada’s Marleau & Heymans manage to put together a winning performance, or would China’s Xin Wang & Ruo Lin Chen walk away as the victors in this hotly contested battle? More importantly, would anyone ultimately care? Well, we’re sad to report that Wang/Chen out-dove the Canadians, and still no one cares. However, we did manage to track down exclusive footage of the Canadian performance:

Gymnastics

Unbeknownst to this savvy sports journalist, gymnastics is no longer confined to an after-school activity for 13 year-old girls. Apparently, it is also “played” (?) by adults, many of whom convened this week in beautiful downtown Maribor, Slovenia to compete in the Gymnastics World Cup. Not surprisingly, all eyes were on the uneven bars event, where three young women with four multi-syllabic last names earned medals for their respective performances. Canada’s Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and Kristina Vaculik topped the podium, with Poland’s Marta Pihan taking the bronze (to the dismay of the Vegas sports books). In a sense, however, we were all winners simply by witnessing this glorious athletic competition. Again, the Food Court Lunch investigative team managed to get its hands on the following exclusive footage of the event:


Arctic Winter Games

Recently recognized as the official sporting event of Food Court Lunch, the 2008 Arctic Winter Games kicked off last month in Yellowknife (look it up on a map, people). As usual, the media hordes hounded the athletes competing in the “commercial events”: badminton, biathalon, dog mushing and snowshoeing. However, the Food Court Lunch team chose to devote its considerable resources to the coverage of a single competition(comprised of 11 separate events) known as “Arctic Sports” or the “Inuit Games”. A pithy description of the event from the sport’s governing body reads as follows:

The Inuit Games (Arctic Sports), officially introduced into the Games in 1974, include 11 events: the one-foot, two-foot, and Alaska high kicks; arm pull; kneel jump; airplane; one-hand reach; head pull; knuckle hop; sledge jump; and triple jump. Collectively, each of these sports requires some combination of strength, conditioning, technique, and a high tolerance for pain.

Based on the above description alone, which sounds very much like the plot-line to a Van Damme movie, we have definitively concluded that this is the greatest sporting event in the history of mankind. Not convinced? Perhaps the following description of the “Knuckle Hop” will persuade you:

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Knuckle Hop: The competitor “hops” along the floor on toes and knuckles until he collapses. The longest distance wins. In 1986, Rodney Worl from Alaska set the record of 191 feet 10 inches. (Males only)

Still not convinced? Well, you’re retarded. Nevertheless, we will offer you further proof, in the form of the dreaded “Head Pull”:

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Head Pull: Two competitors lie on the floor, their stomachs facing each other. A looped band is placed over the back of each head above the ears. Rising to a “push-up” position with only hands and feet touching the floor, the athletes pull with their heads, bracing their hands out in front and using their whole body strength to pull steadily backward. The object is to pull the opponent over a line that is drawn between them. (Males only) 

The 2008 Games were a tremendous success, with Alaska placing first in the medal count with a total of 202 medals. The Northwest Territories finished second, with 111 medals, whereas Yamal-Nemets collected an impressive 92 medals to finish third. Surprisingly, fan favourites Greenland finished with a paltry 44 medals, much to the disappointment of their Danish countrymen. All members of the 2008 squad have since been castrated for their poor performance, in accordance with Greenlandish law.

The National (Ice) Hockey League

While not quite as popular as the foregoing events, our sources tell us that the top teams in an ice hockey league known as the National Hockey League continue to compete in public forums (“fora” for the Latin scholars among you) across the North American continent. The teams are rumoured to be battling for the right to drink from a silver mug once used to serve ale to the first Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada, Lord Gordon “Lightfoot” Stanley. While we have not taken the time to confirm these rumours, we’re pretty sure that our sources are full of shit.

Nevertheless, we have at least looked into this so-called sport, and have confirmed that it merely involves a series of one-on-one battles to the death, preceded by ritual stripping. Seems pretty gay to us…