Wrestling with a Twist

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With the Olympic games just ‘round the corner, the Afghan Olympic committee is doing everything it can to train and send the maximum number of athletes to the games. While many athletes have already qualified, the wrestling team is yet to make the mark. And with the qualifiers still on, the athletes and administrators are hopeful of securing a berth in the wrestling category at the 2012 London games.

Taking a look at the Afghan national wrestling team practicing for the games can leave you perplexed as you will soon observe their ways of wrestling are quite unconventional. There however is a reason behind this. The team practices the Zorkhaneh type of wrestling where the wrestlers dance and move to the beats of a drum. This is an ancient form of wrestling and is very popular in countries like Afghanistan and Turkey.it has been practiced in Afghanistan for many decades.  In fact this was the only sport that the Taliban allowed and so it gained in popularity even more.

In the past, the Zorkhaneh form of wrestling was practiced to train warriors before they went to war. However now the war, if it can be called so, is on a different scale and the athletes would like to fight their hearts out for an Olympic berth. According to the wrestlers themselves, it is their dream to win a medal at the games and make their country proud. And on this path to victory, they are using the techniques of Zorkhaneh to help them through. 

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