5 Amazing sports that started in China!
The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will feature sports that are popular around the world. But check out these amazing sports that have their origins in China!
If you thought a spinning top was just a toy, think again! In China, it’s also a serious sport. Tuoluo (say "Too-oh-Loo-oh") is a game where players use a long whip to spin a top.
The most competitive way to play Tuoluo is to battle! To compete, two players spin their battling tops to crash into each other. The player who manages to knock the other top down is the winner!
Dragon Boat Racing
Have you ever thought it would be cool to ride a dragon? Then check out dragon boat racing! In this sport, long boats are decorated with the head and tail of a dragon.
During a race, 20 people paddle each boat toward the finish line. The boat crew also has a steerer and a drummer. The steerer makes sure the boat is going in the right direction. The drummer represents the heartbeat of the dragon. They drum along to a beat that helps the paddlers keep a steady pace!
Board Shoe Racing
Legend has it that “board shoes” were once a way to train Chinese soldiers to march in line. Now they’re used to play a really fun sport: board shoe racing!
In this competition, three or four athletes run with the same boards tied to their feet. Teams race each other to the finish line! But in board shoe racing, coordination is key. If a team can’t walk together, they’re not going anywhere!
Jianzi (say "gee-on-zee") is a sport that’s over 2,000 years old! It comes from an ancient Chinese game called cuju, which is a lot like soccer.
The Jianzi is made from a small rubber disk with colourful feathers attached. Players kick the Jianzi, passing it from foot to foot, and even to their head! The goal is to prevent the Jianzi from falling on the ground. In a competition game, two teams face-off on a court and pass the Jianzi back and forth over a net.
Stilt racing is also called “high foot racing.” You can probably see why! Athletes race each other, running high up on sticks made of bamboo. These bamboo sticks are also called a “high horse.”
Stilt racing has an interesting origin story. Thousands of years ago, people walked on bamboo sticks on rainy days so their feet didn’t get wet. It was a great idea, and now it’s an even greater sport!