A video surfaced on the Internet on Thursday morning of an event I can’t find a name for, but it will change everything you know about rowing, tug of war and perhaps physics.
YouTube user SmokiPolnocy posted footage of two groups of men sitting at opposite ends of a dragon boat (like a rowboat, but double-wide and awesomely named). They left us a simple explanation for what would happen next: “The Polish have invented a new sport.”
This appeared to be the case. Polish writing abounded and people screamed as the teams paddled against each other in something resembling measured athletic competition.
After your first watch, you might wonder why the team that crossed the line is celebrating. This confuses our brains, which are wired for the normal, land-bound variety of tug of war, where kids who hit puberty early demoralize their classmates at track and field day.
Dragon boat tug of war, or dragon war (we’re definitely calling it that), works differently. It involves out-paddling the other team, pushing them back and moving toward the center line.
It must be said: This is a mighty fine competition, and I eagerly await the nuclear rain of #WellActuallys explaining how this supposedly new sport is actually an ancient Nordic tradition that’s been around since Rollo, brother of Ragnar, bested the wolf god Fenrir in a rowing race across the Sognefjord.
Furthermore, I can’t wait until this becomes an Olympic event—if not just to hear my fellow countrymen talk about how America would “totally dominate dragon war” if football and the Kardashians didn’t monopolize our nation’s athletes.
Long live dragon war.
Dan is on Twitter. He is training to be a dragon boat coxswain for Rio 2016.