The World Nomad Games mix excitement, culture and the strangest sports you've ever heard of

The World Nomad Games are taking place in Kyrgzstan. Source: World Nomad Games

Sports in competition include bone throwing, eagle hunting, and a horseback event where you score goals using a dead goat. Oh, and Steven Seagal is attending the Games as a VIP.

Starved for a bit of competitive sport on a global stage since the Rio Olympics wrapped up? Why not check out the World Nomad Games.

Athletes from at least 40 countries have gathered in Kyrgzstan for the second World Nomad Games (the first, much smaller event, was held in 2014), which are designed to celebrate the nomadic heritage of the Central Asian nations.

Running from September 3 to 8, the 23 sports in competition sound like they're out of the Harry Potter books: eagle hunting, archery, Er enish (horseback wrestling), bone throwing, Jereed (equestrian javelin), Toguz (an intellectual board game), mas-wrestling (a game where two competitors attempt to wrest control of a small stick) and Kok-boru (a horseback competition where competitors score goals with a dead goat). 

The Games opened on Saturday night with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring hundreds of whirling nomad women, and stunt horsemen galloping around the arena with their clothes on fire.

"If Genghis Khan were alive, he'd want to be here," said the announcer as the opening ceremony got under way.

They may not have had Genghis Khan, but they did have a special guest in the form of action movie star Steven Seagal, who entered the arena on horseback.

The Hollywood star later tweeted that he was "deeply honored" to be a VIP at the opening ceremony and recommended others take in the Games if they can.

Word is already getting out, with the third World Nomad Games, which are set to be held in Turkey in 2018, being added to bucket lists the world over.

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