The Finns have the sauna and the Scots have their caber tossing. In Norway, we have “dødsing”.
The “Norwegian belly flop contest is the world’s best show of human ability”, writes Digg. The Daily Mail calls it “hilarious” and “the most painful (and bizarre) sport in the world”. They’re talking about “dødsing”. The national extreme sport of Norway.
That, anyway, is the aim for the organisers of its annual world championships, which were held for the eighth time at the Frogner public bath in Oslo this weekend.
A classic “døds” means maintaining a horizontal X-pose for as long as you dare – typically jumping from a 10 metre diving tower – and then curl into a ball just before you hit the water. In the free style variant, you can do tricks or strike other poses, too.
Thousands of spectators turned up to watch the daredevils hurtling from the tower at Frogner this weekend. If you’re in luck, you can escape the impact without significant pain – but there’s some truth behind the horror stories of punctured lungs and broken noses.
It’s amazing to watch, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed abroad.
Here are some of the best dives from this year’s event:
En video publisert av NRK Østlandssendingen (@nrkostlandssendingen)
The winner was Truls Torp, a 17-year old from Fredrikstad.
Et bilde publisert av TRULS TORP (@trulstorp)
Torp used to do gymnastics. He has certainly developed a distinctive diving technique, joined by an impressive fearlessness.
En video publisert av TRULS TORP (@trulstorp)
“Dødsing is about showing that you have full control in the air. In my winning dive I lay completely relaxed through the fall while making a 350-degree rotation. I landed right on my face and made a splash that hit the judges,” he tells Visit Norway.
As he’s not 18 yet he didn’t get to attend the party afterwards. But the prize of 10 000 kroner (about 950 British pounds) in cash comes in handy anyway. “I’ll spend some of it on a new pair of swimming trunks,” Torp says.
As most coastal areas are free and open to the public, Norwegians have a short, but intense love affair with the seaside during summer. A myriad of beaches are located in the south, while some very unique ones can be found in the west and north.
For four years a group of trickers planned, filmed and edited a movie with breathtaking tricks from all over Norway.