BBC Learning English 英语教学

Vocabulary: eccentric behaviour 奇怪的行为举止

The alternative games 另类运动竞赛

Will you participate in the bog snorkelling competition?

Have you ever raced against a horse, charmed worms or smashed an egg against your head?

These wacky activities are amongst the sports taking place in the World Alternative Games in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells. You might not see the likes of Usain Bolt around, but those who take part are extremely dedicated and compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in 35 events.

Gordon Green, who is involved in organising the games, says: "We've been staging a number of events since 1980, but we wanted an alternative to the Olympics to show that people who take part in unusual sports are as committed as their Olympic counterparts. (...) They may not train as hard, but they have easily as much fun."


Let's take a look at some of the weird and wonderful disciplines that are hosted. In the man-versus-horse race, men race against horses across the Welsh countryside. Predictably, the horses usually win, although men have won twice in the past.

Russian egg roulette is less dangerous and more quirky that the sport its name derives from. Competitors smash eggs against their heads: all the eggs are raw except one. Whoever gets the hard-boiled egg is the winner.

Worm charmers produce vibrations with a garden fork and a piece of metal or wood to entice worms to come out of the ground. The World Record was set by ten-year-old Sophie Smith in 2009, when she collected 567 worms in just 30 minutes.

Those with extraordinary strength might want to take part in wife carrying, where competitors carry another person - who may not be their wife and can be of the same sex - across a river and fields. The prize for the winner is the weight of the person they carried in beer.

Other off-the-wall games are stiletto racing, where competitors race in 3-inch high heels, running backwards, underwater hockey and bog snorkelling.

So if what's missing in your life is a grain of folly, you might want to consider taking part. All you need is dedication, an eccentric streak and a penchant for ridicule.

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