CHOLPON-ATA, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — The Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan has held its biennial Nomad Games which promote and celebrate the traditional sports of nomadic peoples.
The first Nomad Games were held in this former Soviet republic in 2014 and have since won UNESCO patronage and now attract competitors from more than 80 countries.
The week-long competition, which is held in a gorge near the picturesque Lake Issyk-Kul, features traditional sports of nomadic peoples such as horseback wrestling and goat polo (played with a dead goat).
Authorities in Kyrgyzstan hope that the Nomad Games will help bring to life the ancient traditions of its people, which have been fading over the past century.
Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov said at the Games' opening that the competition is a chance to "receive the spiritual energy" from the country's past and revive traditions of "people's diplomacy" which helped to preserve peace and understanding among nations in the past.