Chus Martinez On Nude SportPosted: December 21, 2012
Nudity in sport (playing sports without any clothing) is uncommon in modern society but it was a norm in Ancient Greece, as well as many cultures in the tropics till today. Although the tradition is now mostly limited to naturist events, we still use words such as gym, gymnasium and gymnastics, which all come from the common Greek adjective γυμνός (gymnos) meaning “naked”, by way of the related verb γυμνάζω (gymnazo), whose meaning is “to train naked”.
Many indigenous peoples in Africa and South America train and perform sport competitions naked Nuba people in South Sudan and xingu tribe in the Amazon region in Brazil, for example, wrestle naked, whereas Dinka, Surma and Mursi in South Sudan and Ethiopia, arrange stick fights. Indian monks Digambara practice yoga naked (or sky-clad, as they prefer to call it). With the ever increasing influences of Western and Muslim cultures, these traditions may soon vanish too.
It is not uncommon for private clubs with male-only or female-only facilities to allow (for example) nude swimming. Some argue that in more private environments (whether at home or in, say a single-gender bathhouse), the less clothing one has on when exercising or doing any activity the better.
Nudist clubs traditionally offer members and guests of both sexes the opportunity to swim nude. Many own or lease facilities that allow other sports to be played, including volleyball, tennis, badminton, bowling and the like. Typically these sports are played at a recreational level of intensity, and need not be particularly competitive.
Although already in the book The Zen of Running by Fred Rohé (1974) it was recommended to run barefoot and “as undressed as possible” to get “well bathed by sun and air” nude running has never gained wide acceptance,
One of the most popular events in naked sport is the international Alps Adria Meeting. This annual contest will took place for the 35th time in the camping ground Kažela close to Medulin/Croatia (June, 7th to June, 10th 2007). About 150 participants participated.
The top event of naturist sport in Europe (and perhaps worldwide) is the famous International Naturist Sports Week in Hungarian naturist camping and recreational centre of Sziksósfürdő near Szeged. Since 1989, the 7-day-event takes place every summer during the last week of July. Almost 40 different forms of sport are on the agenda of this event, with almost 400 participants from all over Europe.
Blacks Beach in San Diego California hosts a yearly nude surf event that includes body boarding, body surfing and surfing. This event is open to everybody and is hosted by the blacks beach bares and the naturist society.
The “Nude Blacks” Rugby team of New Zealand competes in the nude too.
During the yearly Roskilde Festival (Denmark), a race for nude runners has been a popular event since the year 2002. The World Naked Bike Ride is an international clothing-optional bike ride in which participants plan, meet and ride together en masse on human-powered transport (the vast majority on bicycles, and fewer on skateboards, roller blades, roller skates) to “protest oil dependency and celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies”.
On June 21, 2008, Sunnyrest Resort in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, hosted the first clothing-optional Mountain Bike Duathlon. Seventy athletes participated and competed during this professionally timed event. Most chose to race completely nude, save the proper footwear.