The Sideshow

World toe wrestling championships showcase the athlete’s foot

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

The best sporting events showcase athletes going toe-to-toe in a test of skills and strength. Which might just make the World Toe Wrestling Championships a success, hands down.

According to the Standard, the toe wrestling championship was launched by a British apartment landlord in 1976 in an effort to give his countrymen a new sport in which they could “dominate.”

Sadly, the dream of domination did not even make it through the first year's trials, as a Canadian won the inaugural championship.

But in recent years, the Brits have found themselves back on top with competitors like Paul "Predatoe" Beech for the men and Lisa "Twinkletoes" Shenton for the women.

"We had quite a few new challengers this year—about 20 men and eight ladies,” organizer Wendy Payne said. "They didn't last long, mind you."

Competitors use their big toes in the wrestling, attempting to pin their opponent’s toe over the course of up to three rounds.

This year, they gathered at a local hotel, the Bentley Brook Inn, before a crowd of curious spectators.

The wrestlers switch from the right foot to the left foot in the second round. If a tie-breaking third round is needed, they then switch back to the right foot.

And rest assured, toe wrestling takes its ethics and accountability very seriously: All stimulants are banned from the sport, “except alcohol.”

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