The third annual “Pig Olympics” have been held in Russia where the pigs might not have flown but they did show their prowess in several activities. Some 12 piglets from seven countries took part in the games, which included pig-racing, pig-swimming and pigball.
Pig enthusiasts laid bets on the competitors in each event, at an exhibition centre near Moscow.
Each pig, dressed in a numbered bib, was carried squealing into the arena for each event.
Contestants included Mykola from Ukraine, Nelson from South Africa, and the home favourite Kostik Russisch Schwein.
The first event was a short running race. The pigs had to be encouraged along by their coaches, who ran behind them to keep them on course and to make them run faster.
In pigball, similar to football, the piglets were split into two teams of five in a pen where they chased a ball covered in fish oil with their snouts.
Goals were painted in as half circles in each corner of the pen.
Swimming was more a case of the piggy paddle
Pig swimming was a new event in this year’s games, with pigs attempting to paddle to the other end of a small pool.
However, the pigs were more interested in bumping into each other than racing, and one piglet managed to get his foot stuck in a rope separating the lanes.
Alexei Sharshkov, vice-president of the Sport-Pig Federation, which has around 100 members, said the pigs would not be ending up on anyone’s dinner table.
“They go on to produce a new generation of sport pigs. They don’t get eaten,” he said. “How could you eat a competitor who is known around the world?”
BBC News web. Last Updated: Sunday, 16 April 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK