A dozen swine from several countries compete in such games as ‘pigball’
MOSCOW - Hundreds of Russians gathered for the first day of the annual “pig Olympics” on Saturday, cheering a field of 12 piglets who competed in three events: pig-racing, pig-swimming and “pigball.”
Each pig was carried into the arena, squealing angrily and dressed in its own numbered bib, while Muscovites laid bets on challengers such as Mykola from Ukraine, Nelson—representing South Africa—and the home favorite, Kostik Russisch Schwein.
In pigball, contestants chase a sweet-tasting soccer ball around an enclosed arena with their snouts, scoring when the ball goes into a goal.
The pig-admirers included ultra-nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who put 100 rubles ($3.60) on Borka to win the running race, in honor of one of his political rivals.
“I’ve always loved pigs, all my life. I had four or five when I was a kid,” he told Reuters.
Alexei Sharshkov, vice-president of the Sport-Pig Federation, which claims 100 members, said the competitors had a happy future ahead of them, win or lose.
“They go on to produce a new generation of sport pigs. They don’t get eaten,” he promised. “How could you eat a competitor who is known around the world?”