Monday, March 12, 2012

Random Sport: Octopus Wrestling

By: David Hicks
When you think you have heard it all, one more thing comes and sneaks up on you. Wrestling is a very challenging sport, but what if we took it to the next level? What if I told you there once was a sport where they would do just that? In the 1960s a sport was very popular and a tournament was held every year called World Octopus Wrestling Championships.
In Tacoma, Washington diving was a pastime and a large amount of people went to the ocean to look at the beauty of nature. One day a man named O’Rourke started an unorthodox method for fishing. As other divers witnessed him doing this they decided to take on something a little bigger, the giant pacific octopus, which is the heaviest octopod in the world. Thus began the sport of octopus wrestling, but the thrill was short lived.
The World Octopus Wrestling Championships began, gathering hundreds of divers bringing octopi from the ocean. Participants were scored one point per pound the octopus weighs, unless the diver went without the respirator, then the points are doubled. The participants could either dive solo or have a team to drag out the sea creature. The winner got world recognition and usually was pictured in several big magazines. The sea creatures were either eaten or most of the time given to a local or distant zoo.
This sport has eventually faded in time and was eventually made illegal to overall seal the fate of the sport lovers. As everyone moves on to bigger and better things, the older generation, especially in Tacoma, Washington, remember the exciting and blood pumping sport of octopus wrestling.


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