Handball fanatics battled it out at the annual Fun Tideland Olympics which took place today in the Wadden Sea, Brunsbuettel, northern Germany.
Some 100 athletes took part in the so-called “Wattoluempiade”, or mudflat Olympics, on the muddy banks at low tide of the Elbe.
Handball, soccer, mud-eel racing, long distance wellington throwing and mud cycling are some of the events that have graced the Mudflat Olympics
Organizers have held the annual competition, alongside a festival for local groups, to benefit the Schleswig-Holstein Cancer Society since 2004.
The tradition of mud sports goes back a long way to Brunsbuttel; where local athletes first staged a Mud Olympics by the river in This year, huge crowds gathered to watch the highly competitive handball matches.
Athletes struggled through knee-deep mud to get their hands on the slippery ball
Hundreds of eager spectators lined up for the annual competition and festival along the muddy banks of the Elbe
Things got scrambled in no time as around 100 athletes got stuck in the competition
Some contestants resorted to swimming across the pitch as fierce games turned the bank into a treacherous quagmire
After a tough muddy game of handball, the players line up for a well-deserved shower
The game quickly became competitive as players battled to gain the upper hand.
No need for team colors in this game, with each team sporting an attractive dark brown kit
With the pitch, ball, players and kits all the same color, it’s a wonder these teams have finished playing
Players struggle to master the conditions and to each other in the mud
Mud was so deep in places it left players waist deep
It was not prohibited as a rough in rough and muddy handball matches
Some players preferred lighter clothing as everyone did their best to play in the conditions
He may have combed the mud out of his beard for a long time, but at least he had fun
Maximum concentration was needed as the small ball quickly got covered in mud
Some teams even showed up to compete in the Mud Olympics in fancy dress
While others went as bright as possible in an effort to stand out in a sea of mud
Swim caps and bare torsos were the order of the day for this rugged squad, which presumably saved a bucket load on cleaning costs
Surprisingly clean crowd watched the Olympic handball matches in the mud
The annual Mudflat Olympics have been held to raise funds for cancer research since 2004
But the tradition of playing sports on the muddy banks of the Elbe dates back to 1978
Pitchside showers are provided for athletes to wash off mud after the game
The recent heatwave hasn’t been a problem for Brunsbuttel, as the muddy banks of the Elbe have played their part in the success of this year’s Mudflat Olympics.