World Nomad Games #DiscoverKyrgyzstan

Opening Ceremony fireworks to kick of the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Opening Ceremony fireworks to kick of the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Being nomadic and traveling nearly 365 days of the year is in many ways a dream job for me. However, one thing that I really miss about being back home in Canada is having the opportunity to follow sports throughout the year. When I had the opportunity to attend the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan, the dormant sports junkie inside of me jumped at the opportunity.

World Nomad Games Intro

The World Nomad Games are a sports and cultural event held in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, and they are an attempt to preserve and promote nomadic culture and traditions throughout Central Asia. This was only the second year the event was held, yet it featured 23 sports and drew athletes from over 40 different countries.

The following post will share some of the highlights of the World Nomad Games through photos and videos.

World Nomad Games Video:


In this video you’ll see our experience attending the World Nomad Games
If you have trouble viewing this video click here:  http://youtu.be/KwDoJVCLm2Y

World Nomad Games: Favorite Sports

As mentioned previously there were 23 different sports at the World Nomad Games. Here is a brief overview of some of my personal favourite sports. Keep in mind none of these sports were familiar to me at all prior to attending the games!

Kok-boru:

This sport was my personal favorite and it was definitely the most popular event at the World Nomad Games. Basically, two teams on horseback play something that sort of resembles polo, except instead of using a ball, they’re carrying and tossing a goat carcass with the intention of scoring a goal against their opponent. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get right on the field during the game. I got a little overzealous at one point getting too close to the action and I had to retreat suddenly as horse-mounted players galloped in my direction. My favorite match was between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan with the Krygyz team coming out on top.

Mas-wrestling:

Two wrestlers face each other with the soles of their feet on opposite sides of a wooden board. In their hands they’re holding a stick, and it’s basically a tug-o-war to either get the stick or pull their opponent over to their side of the board. These typically massive men were physically exhausted by the end of a match even if the game only lasted a few brief seconds.

Salbuurun:

This was my favorite hunting/prey event involving eagles. The competition was to see how fast eagles can fly while chasing after a fox skin over a stretch of 200 meters. It wasn’t only the human athletes that impressed me during these games!

Here is a complete list of the sports from the World Nomad Games.

World Nomad Games Photo Essay

Now, my favorite photos from the World Nomad Games in no particular order.

One of the traditional Kyrgyz swings with two people standing up going back and forth at the World Nomad Games

One of the traditional Kyrgyz swings with two people swinging back and forth at the World Nomad Games

Intense Mas-wrestling match from two competitors at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Intense Mas-wrestling match between two competitors at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Men wearing traditional Kyrgyz hats attending the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Men wearing traditional Kyrgyz hats attending the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A shot of the goat carcass being tossed into the air for a goal during a Kok Boru match between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

A shot of the sheep carcass being tossed into the air for a goal during a Kok Boru match between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

A professional Kok Boru player from Kyrgyzstan about to score a goal during a Kok Boru match at the World Nomad Games

A professional Kok Boru player from Kyrgyzstan about to score a goal during a Kok Boru match at the World Nomad Games

Team Kyrgyzstan and team Kazakhstan shacking hands after a Kok Boru match at the World Nomad Games

Team Kyrgyzstan and team Kazakhstan shacking hands after a Kok Boru match at the World Nomad Games

A traditional Kyrgyz yurt setup during the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A traditional Kyrgyz yurt setup during the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Men climbing a pole during a cultural performance at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Men climbing a pole during a cultural performance at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A lady shooting a bow and arrow while standing upside down during the World Nomad Games in Krygyzstan

A lady shooting a bow and arrow while standing upside down during the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Cheering after a sword fight during a cultural performance at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Cheering after a sword fight during a cultural performance at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz men squatting down to enjoy a plate of Plov during the Kyrgyzstan World Nomad Games

Kyrgyz men squatting down to enjoy a plate of Plov during the Kyrgyzstan World Nomad Games

A close-up shot of man wearing a traditional hat performing traditional Kyrgyz music at the World Nomad Games

A close-up shot of a man wearing a traditional hat performing traditional Kyrgyz music at the World Nomad Games

A high vantage point view of all of the yurt camp during the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A high vantage point view of all of the yurt camp during the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A Kyrgyz man wearing a traditional hat clapping during a musical performance at the World Nomad Games in Krygyzstan

A Kyrgyz man wearing a traditional hat clapping during a musical performance at the World Nomad Games in Krygyzstan

Two Kyrgyz ladies knitting during the World Nomad Games in Krygyzstan

Two Kyrgyz ladies showcasing their craft during the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

An overhead shot of the crowd at the Kyrgyzstan World Nomad Games

An overhead shot of the crowd at the World Nomad Games

A talented performer doing equestrian tricks at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A talented performer doing equestrian tricks at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Two Kyrgyz men with distinct faces at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Two Kyrgyz men with distinct faces at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

An action scene from a cultural performance at the World Nomad Games

An action scene from a cultural performance at the World Nomad Games

Another action shot from the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Another action shot from the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Some Kyrgyz men gather for a quiet picnic at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Some Kyrgyz men gather for a quiet picnic at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A Kok Boru player from Team China carries the goat carcass during a match at the World Nomad Games against the United States of America

A Kok Boru player from Team China carries the goat carcass during a match at the World Nomad Games against the United States

A Chinese Kok Boru player throws the dead carcass into the goal at the World Nomad Games in Krygyzstan

A Chinese Kok Boru player throws the goat carcass into the goal at the World Nomad Games in Krygyzstan

A man wearing a distinct hat at the Kyrgyzstan World Nomad Games

A man wearing a distinct hat at the Kyrgyzstan World Nomad Games

An eagle wearing an eye-cover patch during the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

An eagle wearing an eye-cover before the start of the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A man practicing archery at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

A man practicing archery at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Gorgeous mountain backdrop at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Gorgeous mountain backdrop at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Stunning scenery with mountains in the background at the Kyrgyzstan World Nomad Games

Stunning scenery with mountains in the background at the Kyrgyzstan World Nomad Games

A massive collection of arrows hitting the target at the World Nomad Games in Kyygyzstan

A massive collection of arrows hitting the target at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Wrestling event at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan between two men

Wrestling event at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan

Now it is over to you! Had you previously heard of the World Nomad Games? What do you now think of the event? Any particular sport you’re more interested in viewing as a spectator? Let me know in the comments section below:

This trip was made possible with the support of Discover Kyrgyzstan and USAID. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.

 

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