Getting dirty in Germany

Earlier this week I wrote about La Tomatina, the famous town-wide tomato fight in Buñol, Spain that leaves everyone and everything covered in tomato. Today I have stumbled upon another event; this one leaves everyone covered in mud.

It’s the Mud Olympics, and it’s taking place this weekend in the town of Brunsbüttel, Germany on the River Elbe. The Mud Olympics (Wattolümpiade in German) is an annual competition where participants compete in all kinds of events (soccer, skiing, volleyball, bike races, and so on) all in the deep muddy banks of the river. Oh, and they get dressed up in crazy costumes. All in all, it looks like a lot of fun.

This will be the sixth Mud Olympics. The idea originated when a pair of sailors got their boat stuck on the muddy shores of the Elbe. To pass the time while they waited to get the boat unstuck, they did what anyone else would do. They played soccer in the mud. Clearly they enjoyed it, as it has led to an annual Mud Olympics that draws 6,000 spectators every year.

I myself have always enjoyed mud sports. I have fond memories of mud soccer games in my youth. There’s something about sliding all over the field, getting as dirty as humanly possible, not really caring who wins or loses. It's very liberating. Maybe next year I will try to compete in the Mud Olympics. Only 32 teams are allowed in, and you must register several months in advance to claim your spot. This year, teams like The Mud Dogs, Silt-Woodlouse FC and Henry's Mud-Splashers will vie for mud glory.

My money’s on Henry’s Mud-Splashers.

River
Photo: ommes_kiel via Flickr (CC license)

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