Wrestlers, archers, bone-tossers, and games of polo played with a headless goat instead of a ball: Welcome to the World Nomad Games, the largest international sports competition you’ve never heard of.
Celebrating nomadic traditions since 2014, the World Nomad Games has been held in Cholpon-Ata, a Kyrgyz town on the shores of the Issyk-Kul lake, every second year. Although the fourth iteration of the Games was supposed to take place in Turkey in 2020 (location undetermined), no announcement about the event has been made at the time of writing. Travelers interested in attending would be better off planning for the 2022 event.
While relatively recent, the competition pays tribute to ancient traditions rooted in nomadic culture, bringing together teams from 74 countries to compete in these alternative Olympics. All the Central Asian countries are represented, but athletes also come from as far as the Philippines and the United States.