The home opener on a recent Saturday for FC Kairat, Kazakhstan’s most storied football club, featured lots of pre-game pomp, the sort of festivities that tend to swaddle major sporting events around the globe.
The lumbering and stubborn Bactrian camel might not be an obvious contender in a polo match, but a Mongolian initiative to save the two-humped beasts is taking a traditional sport of the steppes and giving it a new twist.
The International Olympic Committee’s proposal to boot wrestling from the 2020 Summer Olympic Games is creating waves in the South Caucasus, especially in Georgia, where the sport is known for producing medals and glory.
For many in Turkey, the name “Baglar,” a slum district in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, a center of the Turkish state’s decades-long conflict with Kurdish rebels, conjures up images of masked youngsters clashing with police, throwing stones or Molotov cocktails. But for 37-year-old local schoolteacher Gokhan Yildirim, the name means just one thing – basketball.
When members of Team Uzbekistan returned from the London Olympic Games last month, they were hailed at the airport by cheering crowds and enthusiastic television news coverage. But sports fans are grumbling, complaining that Tashkent’s lumbering, centralized way of managing sports is to blame for a disappointing medal harvest.
A growing number of Georgians are turning to yoga to shake off the stress of daily life. But their quest for inner calm and smaller waists is generating hostility from the powerful Georgian Orthodox Church.
When Georgian wrestlers compete in the London Summer Olympics, they will be defending more than their country’s two 2008 gold medals. For the wrestling team, the 2012 Games are an important stop on a decades-long journey back to international prominence.
It is late June and one of the most anticipated moments on the professional tennis calendar has arrived. Top players are stepping onto the hallowed British grass courts of Wimbledon, the sport's most prestigious tournament.