If you thought calling carrom a sport was bad, this takes the biscuit. Most of you may not know that competitive napping has now been labelled as a sport across several countries. The first documented occurrence was the 2010 Siesta Competition, held in Spain. The competition was organised by the National Association of Friends of the Siesta, and was sponsored by a shopping mall in Madrid’s Carabanchel district. The event that began on October 14, 2010, was spread across 3 days. 360 sleepers took part in the event.
Spain’s maiden National Siesta Championship sought to find the best napper in the district. The underlying aim was to help revive the state’s dying tradition of taking a nap after lunch. “The modern life is a danger that we feel is against the siesta. When you sleep, everyone has the image that your life is calm; a good life. And then, the modern life is a direct attack,” said Daniel Blanco, president of the NAFS, in an interview with CNN.
In a first of its kind event, pulse monitors were attached to the participants and points were awarded to those who pulled off a 20-minute public slumber. Sleeping fewer minutes meant fewer points. Some came in pyjamas, while others brought in eye masks and other sleep accessories to aid their victory. Consolation prizes were awarded for original sleeping positions and the loudest snore was a category on its own.
The first cash prize was €1,000, in credit to purchase goods at the shopping centre. The winner of the competition, Pedro Soria Lopez (aged 62), won the 1,000 euros after sleeping for 17 minutes. The unemployed security guard was dubbed ‘the Ecuadorean super-snorer’ after his snores registered 70 decibels.
While this event focussed on a more traditional angle to the siesta, it definitely helped set ground-rules for how napping events should be laid. Since its first in 2010, competitive napping has been in a state of hiatus, with most competitions going undocumented. While there have been rumours of competitions in Japan and New York, the references have been weak with no legit validation.
So, what do you think? Would you sign up for a Siesta Competition if it were to happen in your city? Let us know in the comments.