Board Shoe Racing – China’s Bizarre Traditional Sport

Board shoe racing is the traditional sport of the Zhuang people of China’s Gunaxi province, a unique discipline that has three people sharing the same “shoes”, which requires perfect coordination and concentration.

Board shoe racing can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty, when legend has it that a famous heroine of the Xhuang people used it as a way to train soldiers against invading Japanese pirates. The legendary Mrs. Wa used long pieces of wood to teach the men to march together in perfect synchronization, which greatly improved their combat qualities and boosted their fighting spirit, helping them repel the invaders. The traditional sport has been passed on from generation to generation since then.

 

This bizarre sport involves three teammates running on the same pair of shoes, which basically consist of two wooden boards and some leather straps to fasten the feet. The boards are one-meter-long, 9cm-wide and 3cm-thick, and using them as shoes for a three-member team requires expert coordination. If one of the three pushes too hard or falls behind, they can cause the entire trio to topple over each other.

In 2005, the National Civil Affairs Commission approved board shoe racing project as an official event at the annual National Minority Traditional Sports Games. It is practiced by both men and women, particularly from the Zhuang people.

“Board shoe racing is a true team sport, and coordination is the most important requirement,” Liu Jianxin, head coach of the Henan board shoe racing team, told Henan Daily. “In addition to improving physical fitness and speed training, it is more about enhancing the team members’ tacit cooperation to the highest it can be.”

 

South Korean baseball resumes with preseason game in front of empty stands

Doosan Bears pitcher Lee Young-ha (L) throws a ball in front of empty stands as a referee (R) wearing a face mask looks on during a pre-season baseball game between Seoul-based Doosan Bears and LG Twins at Jamsil stadium in Seoul on April 21, 2020. – Professional sport returned to South Korea on April 21 as coronavirus restrictions ease, with the first pitch thrown in a baseball preseason derby in front of empty stands. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

Professional sport returned to South Korea on Tuesday as coronavirus restrictions ease in the country, with the first pitch thrown in a baseball preseason derby in front of empty stands.

The Seoul-based Doosan Bears and LG Twins are Korea’s biggest rivals in the country’s most popular spectator sport and their shared stadium in the capital’s Jamsil area would usually be packed.

But with fans barred, the stands were empty as the Twins’ Cha Woo-chan threw the first pitch.

Even the cheerleaders — an essential element of firing up the atmosphere at what would normally be a feverish encounter — were also absent.

The stadium was silent except for the continuous clicking of camera shutters from around 50 members of the media, and occasional shouts from the dugouts.

Reporters were not allowed to approach the players.

“Although it is being held behind closed doors, I think it’s good that we can hold these games for the fans who are watching from their homes,” said LG Twins media officer Kim Kwang-hwan.

“We hope that the coronavirus outbreak will be contained soon so many fans can come and enjoy our game just like previous years.”

The Jamsil derby was among the first of 20 preseason games, and the Korea Baseball Organization said Tuesday the regular season would start behind closed doors on May 5.

Strict health guidelines were being enforced.

Players must have their temperature checked twice before the games, with facemasks strongly recommended in all parts of the stadium, except for the field and the dugout during the game, the KBO said.

Players have been asked not to shake hands or exchange high-fives, while spitting is prohibited.

The Doosan Bears were last year’s KBO champions but the LG Twins ran out 5-2 winners in a one-sided encounter.

Even so, more than 700,000 fans tuned in to watch a livestream of the match on Naver, the country’s largest online portal.

Japantimes.com

Strange Sports Venues

Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, USA

 

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The Coeur d’Alene Resort is a luxury resort hotel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Located on the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene, the Coeur d Alene Resort features a marina, convention facilities, spa, as well as a notable 18-hole golf course. The hotel has 338 rooms and suites, and its main tower has 18 floors.

 

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Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course in Idaho is best known for its par-3 14th hole, which features the only movable island green in the world. Built on a barge on submerged tracks, the green is moved daily by computer and distance can range from 95 to 200 yards (87-183m).

Water taxis transport golfers to the hole, which can moved to change the difficulty of the shot (you have to swing from the mainland).

 

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Tennis Court at Burj Al Arab, United Arab Emirates

 

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The world’s highest tennis court stands atop the fourth highest hotel in the world – Burj al-Arab at Dubai. The tennis court is circular in shape and when no session is at play, it doubles as a helipad. 

 

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The exact height of the tennis court is not known, but the hotel is 321 m (1,053 feet) tall and the court is located very near the top.

 

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In 2005, when Roger Federer and Andre Agassi were at Dubai for a tournament, they were invited to play a few rounds at the Burj’s helipad-converted-tennis court.

Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge.

 

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Ski Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 

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An indoor ski resort in the middle of the desert? Yes, that’s weird. Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters (27,000 sq yds) of indoor ski area. It is a part of the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was developed by Majid Al Futtaim Properties, which also operates the Mall of the Emirates.

 

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Opened in November 2005, the indoor resort features an 85-meter-high (280ft) indoor mountain with 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty, including a 400-metre-long (1,300ft) run, the world’s first indoor black run, and various features (boxes, rails, kickers) that are changed on a regular basis. A quad lift and a tow lift carry skiers and snowboarders up the mountain. 

 

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Adjoining the slopes is a 3,000-square-metre (3,590 sq yds) Snow Park play area comprising sled and toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs and an ice cave.

Ski Dubai is also home to a number of penguins who come out to play several times a day. Penguin encounters can be booked, allowing the public to interact directly with the penguins. Winter clothing, ski and snowboard equipment are included in the price of admission.

 

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An extremely efficient insulation system helps the facility maintain a temperature of −1 °C during the day and −6 °C at night when the snow is produced.

 

Rooftop Mini Football Pitch, Japan

 

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There’s no beating the location of this singularly picturesque football (soccer) pitch: it sits atop the Tokyu Tokyo department store, right next to Shibuya Station.

 

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Adidas Futsal Park opened in 2001, in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup that Japan and South Korea co-hosted the following year, and it’s been doing a strong trade ever since.

 

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Jets

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL) finally won the Grey Cup. The Grey Cup is the CFLs Super Bowl.  The Blue Bombers hadn’t won the cup in 29 years. In a league with only 9 teams that is quite a drought. The Bombers beat Hamilton 33-12 ten days ago.

Three Bombers, Chris Streveler, Nick Demsky and Grey Cup most valuable player Andrew Harris were at the Jets NHL game last night.

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The Jets beat the Dallas Stars 5-1

Icebergs, Whales and a Football Pitch

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Disko Island is just off the west coast of Greenland. It has a population of approximately 1,200. It has an area of 8,578 km2 (3,312.0 sq mi), making it the second largest island of Greenland (after the main island of Greenland) and one of the 100 largest islands in the world. The vast majority of the landmass is rock. But the soccer hungry people of the island built a top quality football pitch on a beach.

While the soccer game is on spectators can enjoy the beautiful scenery, especially the icebergs just offshore. And every so often whales can be seen breaching the surface and blowing water out of their blowholes.

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Boston Bruins Rally Tune

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“Time To Go”
[Chorus:]
Go! Go! Black and gold!
Old-time hockey, bar the door
Clear the track it’s all-out war
Light the lamp, throw a hit
Black and gold never quit
The barn is full, our team’s in town
So put ’em up boys, knock ’em out (knock ’em down)
Drop the puck, it’s time to go (time to go)

Bust outta work, it’s quarter-past five
Time to round up the gang
and take the Red to the Orange line
Head for the street and the Causeway crowd
You can feel it in the air, when the team’s in town

[Chorus]

Rancourt’s ready, it’s time to take to the ice
So tie down the jersey ’cause it could get ugly tonight
Top corner, five hole, off the post and in
On a quest for the cup, and we’re ready to win

[Chorus]

Go! Go! Black and gold!

Drop the puck, it’s time to go

 

Tis the Season for Hockey

The hardcore fan has to express his devotion to his team somehow. A man cave is one way of going about that in the extreme. But lord, these guys must hurt bad when their team loses. And hysterically rejoice when they win!

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This one almost looks like a bar.

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This guy is more into the beer than the team.

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But the best one is in good old Winnipeg. A Winnipeg Jets man cave!

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