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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis
Vilnius
By Berta Tilmantaite
27 Jul 2016

Paralympian Osvaldas Bareikis is preparing for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

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The Power of Sport
Beirut
By b.yaacoub
10 Jul 2015

In a world where differences and divisions often drive people apart, sport brings people together. Sport overcomes cultural, social, and political barriers, providing an opportunity for dialogue and positive human interaction.

Transterra Media has the world of sports covered, from the fighting Cholitas of Bolivia, to the female boxers of Calcutta, and more.

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The Rise of Nuba Wrestling in Sudan
Khartoum
By Ashraf Idris
16 Feb 2015

February 6, 2015
Khartoum, Sudan

Nuba wrestling, a traditional sport practiced by tribes in the Nubian mountains, is gaining huge popularity throughout Sudan. The aim of the contest is to slam your opponent to the ground. Similar to sumo wrestling, there is no boxing system and any strikes are essentially part of the grappling.

Traditional wrestling is an integral part of life for tribal communities in Sudan. It is a chance to show your virility and strength. These forms of wrestling are known throughout the country and are now becoming increasingly popular in the capital Khartoum.

As Numeiry Koukou, a winning wrestler says, “There is no difference between the forms of wrestling practiced in Khartoum and those practiced in the mountains. The only difference is that [in the Nubian mountains] there are women who sing during the wrestling. You can find your siblings and uncles near you. Here, the audience replaces the singing women and your family. It supports you and makes you feel that you have to prove to them that you are a man.”

The Sudanese are hoping to export Nuba wrestling and claim to have participated in tournaments in Turkey, Japan, and Korea.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Hamad Youssef, Wrestling Fan

“Sudanese wrestling is popular. It includes people from all races, like the national team. You will find people from all races – black, white, red, blue. Before, it was only practiced in the Nubian mountains, but it expanded to include the Hawazma and all the other tribes.”

“I used to wrestle when I was a young boy. Back then I used to herd cows at the edge of the mountains. But now I have grown older and one’s looks change at an old age. As the saying goes, “Only the palm trees in the valley die with their original color”. I have quit wrestling and become a wrestling fan. I am only a fan. I cannot take my clothes off to wrestle. When I take my clothes off it is only to take a bath.”

“Thanks be to God, I am a fan of wrestling. I hope that wrestling moves forward, develops, and become successful outside Sudan. Currently we have a national team at a training camp. You will watch it here in the next few days.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Numeiry Koukou, AKA Mudiriyyah (District), Winning Wrestler

“It is not necessary that a wrester always wins; sometimes he loses and sometimes he wins. You benefit from losing. You know your points of weakness. You cannot always be victorious. You would be happy if you won all the time, but if you lose you should not be upset, because you will benefit from losing and know your points of weakness. My nickname is Mudiriyyah (District), which belonged to my father before me. I was injured during an official game with the Lion Heart club and have recovered from injury. It was a tournament match.”

“Last week, my fitness was not very good. I thought about this and I insisted to come here and I said that I must win, in order to prove to my fans that I am here.”

“In the Nubian Mountains, we have forms of traditional wrestling that each tribe practices as a part of its own customs and religious rituals, such as the one practiced in the autumn. These forms of wrestling are talked about in all of Sudan. Even in peripheral areas and in Khartoum, they have all heard about this. There is no difference between the forms of wrestling practiced in Khartoum those practiced in the mountains. The only difference is that [in the Nubian mountains] there are women who sing during the wrestling. You can find your siblings and uncles near you. Here, the audience replaces the singing women and your family. It supports you and makes you feel that you have to prove to them that you are a man.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Adam Isshaq, Defeated Wrestler

“You cannot know who the winner is before the wrestling match is over. You cannot know whether you will beat this man or he will win over you. You can only know when the round is over. But you expect to win more than you expect to lose.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Hassan Abdel Majid, Head of the Nubian Wrestling Foundation

04:05

“This game, Sudanese wrestling, started in the south Kurdufan area, the area of the Nubian mountains and south Kurdufan. It was a local sport, which moved from the province of Kurdufan to the province of Khartoum. The government has paid special interest to this sport, which now has a local federation, the Khartoum Federation of Sudanese Wrestling. This game is an authentic Sudanese game, which symbolizes insight, strength and youth.”

“In the province of Khartoum, [wrestlers] from the south, north and west of Kurdufan represent this great legacy. You can see the interest that the government has paid to this sport in this stadium. This stadium is dedicated to Sudanese wrestling. The government also started a federation that sponsors this activity. The government has given attention to all sports, especially Sudanese wrestling, it is a pure Sudanese sport. We are exporting this sport to the entire world, God willing.”

“We participated in tournaments in Turkey, Japan and Korea. In a few days, a Sudanese wrestler will play against the champion of Japan, who has won four medals. This stadium will host a Sudanese-Japanese match. God willing, we will win this match.”

“People from different countries love this wrestling. Most ambassadors who work in Khartoum are interested in this sport. Many foreigners and Europeans come to this Sudanese forum.”

“It is a distinguished sport. It is a pure Sudanese game. It does not resemble American or Japanese wrestling. This is pure Sudanese wrestling. It is the same type of wrestling but in the Nubian mountains it is held in the outdoors. Here it is organized within a federation and according to laws and charts. In south Kurdufan, it is held in the valleys, plains and the wilderness. Here, there is a stadium that hosts this sport.”

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Turkey's Camel Wrestling Championship
Selcuk
By Michael Biach
17 Jan 2015

January 16-18, 2015

Selcuk, Turkey

In January each year there is the annual Camel Wrestling Championship held in Selcuk in Turkey. The event puts together two bull (male) camels with a female camel on heat nearby. The camels fight it out for the female, leaning on each other to push the other one down. It is most common in the Aegean region of Turkey, but is also found in the Marmara and Mediterranean regions of that country. There are an estimated 1200 camel wrestlers (or Tulu) in Turkey, bred specially for the competitions.

A camel can win a wrestling match in three ways: By making the other camel retreat, scream, or fall. The owner of a camel may also throw a rope into the field to declare a forfeit if he is concerned for the safety of his animal.

Camels wrestle with others in their same weight class. Camels have different tricks, and contest organizers match camels with different skills. Some camels wrestle from the right and some from the left; some trip the other with foot tricks ("çengelci"), and some trap their opponent's head under their chest and then try to sit ("bağcı"); some push their rivals to make them retreat ("tekçi").

A camel wrestling event involves considerable pomp and ceremony. The camels are decorated, and participate in a march through town followed by musicians on the day before the event. The actual wrestling can be somewhat underwhelming to someone not familiar with the intricacies, although onlookers must often flee from an oncoming camel that is retreating in defeat from his opponent.

In the heat of the tournament, camels spew foamy saliva in their excitement. Additionally, camels are retromingent animals, and so spectators would be advised to beware not only of flying saliva but of flying urine as well.

Popularity of the sport is declining, as the relative costs of caring for such an animal rises, as well as concern for the animals' welfare.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (6 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
03 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Mustafa Can is a camel handler and works at a camel stable in Burhaniye, a town in the Aegean region of Turkey, where camel wrestling is a popular age old tradition.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (16 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
03 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Camel socuk is a sausage made from a mixture of camel and beef and is served as a novelty during camel wrestling tournaments. Camels that are not able to wrestle often end up slaughtered for their meat.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (1 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Male camels wrestle by trying to pin their opponents neck down to the ground. Competition between male camels over females is common and camels can't be trained to wrestle, according to many Turkish camel owners.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (2 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Camels are decorated with handmade decorations made of felt, beads and shells.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (7 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--A man shows his granddaughter one of the camels participating in the Pelitkoy camel wrestling tournament. About a hundred camels compete each weekend, though no winner is declared.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (8 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--A camel is prepared for wrestling by having it's muzzle removed and a rope tied around it's mouth. The rope is used to control the camel and separate it from it's opponent before either creature is injured.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (9 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--A camel pins it's opponent during a wrestling tournament held in a village in the Aegean region of Turkey. No champions are declared, and most often the bouts end in a tie. Owners say winning is not important.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (10 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Spectators grill meat, drink raki and dance to music performed by Roma (Gypsy) musicians during a camel wrestling tournament held in a village in the Aegean region of Turkey.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (11 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Participants relax during an unseasonably warm February day at a camel wrestling tournament in the town of Pelitkoy in the Aegean region of Turkey.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (12 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Mustafa Can unloads a camel from a truck after it competed in a camel wrestling tournament.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (13 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Camel owner Mustafa Akgun tries to coax a reluctant
camel into a truck in order to be transported to a competition in nearby town of Pelitkoy in the Aegean region of Turkey, where camel wrestling is popular.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (3 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Camel owner Ahmet Sorsilmaz from Bodrum, Turkey, kisses his camel on the morning before a wrestling tournament.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (4 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--A man leads his camel around the arena at Pelitkoy Camel Wrestling tournament before a match.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (5 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Elaborate handmade decorations are used to decorate camels that compete in wrestling matches, a popular sport in Western Turkey.

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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (14 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Burhaniye, Turkey-- January 26, 2013-- Adolescent camels brought from Iran are being raised for sale at a stable in Burhaniye, Turkey.

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CAMEL WRESTLING IN TURKEY
Istanbul, Turkey
By Mais Istanbuli
02 Feb 2013

Both a tourist attraction and a local pastime in Turkey, camel wrestling is a time-old competition celebrated annually nearly every weekend in the Aegean region from November until March. The tournaments traditionally coincide with the olive harvest. Some camel owners explained that in the past, camels were used to help transport the fruit from the orchards. The biggest and most popular camel wrestling festival is held in Selcuk, near the ancient Greek ruins of Ephesus.

On one cool morning, Mustafa Can led a stubborn camel to be loaded onto a waiting truck. From the stable in the Aegean coast town of Burhaniye, a dozen camel were being transported to nearby Pelitkoy, where an annual camel wrestling tournament is held. Villagers and fans packed into stadium chairs, set up barbecue grills and tables in truck beds surrounded the arena in order to enjoy the action. The annual camel wrestling tournament is the most exciting day of the year in Pelitkoy, and everyone from the local mayors, to farm workers, to Roma musicians, have crowded around a small arena to watch the action. More than 100 camels and their owners from all over the region converge to practice the sport which is Turkish is called "deve guresi" and is believed to have brought to Turkey more than 2000 years ago.

Two by two, the massive and highly decorated animals, wearing elaborate hand-embroidered saddles, and draped with red banners reading "mashallah" were escorted by their owners into the ring, bells ringing. Frothing at the mouth from excitement and anxiety, the animals jostle with their opponents, trying to pin their opponent's neck to the ground while their owners yell word of encouragement.

"Camels are very sensitive, like a child," says Savran, a camel trainer from Burhaniye. "You should really understand them." He explain that trainers get to know each camel's voice and the camel, likewise, know's that of his trainer.

As white streams of saliva draw zig zags through the air, two teams of camel handlers stand close by. In case the fighters get too serious, they are ready to use ropes to separate the 1000-1500 kilo animals named after fast cars, like Audi, or beautiful places, like Florida, or fighters, like Crazy Ozel.

Fights end after 10 minutes. A winner is declared if one camel forces the other to the ground, or if one camel walks away from battle, forfeiting the match. The level of violence is low compared to other animal fighting sports, though a few camels ended up with nose-bleeds. Oftentimes, no winner is declared. That seems of little importance to the crowd, though, many of whom are busily grilling camel sausage and drinking raki, Turkey's anise-flavored brandy. The crash of a drum, accompanied by wild clarinet playing and violin is reason enough for some of the men to dance, while others enjoy smoking water pipes.

These days, most camels are imported from Iran-- including a half-dozen soft, big-eyed juveniles who are for sale in Burhaniye. A good fighting camel is worth as much as $15,000, but most owners say their camels are not for sale.

"We don't drive luxury cars," says a camel owner named Akin. "We don't drive a good car, but we have a good camel."

As the clear afternoon began turning to dusk, the tournament concluded with a camel procession through the town. Then the camel owners began again the arduous process of coaxing the animals into the truck beds. The following weekend would see yet another camel tournament in a different Aegean town.

  • Jodi Hilton
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Camel Wrestling in Turkey (15 of 16)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
02 Feb 2013

Pelitkoy, Turkey--Camels compete during a wrestling tournament held in the village of Pelitkoy in the Aegean region of Turkey.