Wednesday, December 8, 2010

✈Worlwide Wednesdays: Weird Sports/Events - Part 1

Ok, so maybe some folks to the 'deep' south of us think hockey is weird, but check out some of these other 'weird' sports from around our world!  Let's start off with one that I think is often talked about...

Wife-Carrying - Finland
Wife carrying  is a sport in which male competitors race while each carrying a female teammate. The objective is for the male to carry the female through a special obstacle track in the fastest time. The sport was first introduced at Sonkajärvi, Finland.

Estonian-style wife-carrying
pic by Wiki user WikedKentaur
Several types of carry may be practised: piggyback, fireman's carry (over the shoulder), or Estonian-style (the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband's shoulders, holding onto his waist).
Major wife-carrying competitions are held in Sonkajärvi, Finland (where the prize depends on the wife's weight in beer); Monona, Wisconsin; Minocqua, Wisconsin; and Marquette, Michigan.

The North American Wife Carrying Championships take place every year on Columbus Day Weekend in October at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine. The 8th Annual event took place on October 6, 2007, with 40 couples participating, an all-time high.

The original course is a rough, rocky terrain with fences, and brooks, but has been altered to suit modern conditions. There is now sand instead of full rocks, fences are still on the course, and some kind of area filled with water,(a pool). These are the following rules set by the International Wife Carrying Competition Rules Committee:
  • The length of the official track is 253.5 meters
  • The track has two dry obstacles and a water obstacle, about one meter deep
  • The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbor's, or you may have found her further afield; she must, however, be over 17 years of age
  • The minimum weight of the wife to be carried is 49 kilograms. If she is less than 49 kg, the wife will be burdened with a rucksack containing additional weight such that the total load to be carried is no less than 49 kg.
  • All participants must have fun
  • The only equipment allowed is a belt worn by the carrier, the carried must wear a helmet.
  • The contestants run the race two at a time, so each heat is a contest in itself
  • Each contestant takes care of his/her safety and, if deemed necessary, insurance
  • The contestants have to pay attention to the instructions given by the organizers of the competition
  • There is only one category in the World Championships and the winner is the couple who completes the course in the shortest time
  • Also the most entertaining couple, the best costume and the strongest carrier will be awarded a special prize
  • Participation fee is 50 euro
Source:  Wikipedia

Tetbury Woolsack Races - UK

The races have no greater aim than for individuals and teams to demonstrate their strength and fitness by racing whilst carrying a sack of wool – up and down a hill that reaches a gradient of 1 in 4.
It is thought that the races originated in the 17th Century by young drovers showing off to local women by running up the hill carrying a woolsack.
The woolsacks were custom built by the British Wool Federation and are 60lb for men’s races and 35lb for women’s. The original course of 280yds ran from The Royal Oak to The Crown, but since 1999 a shorter course of 240yds has been run.
Most competitors come from local rugby teams or the British Army; many of the course records are held by Tetbury Rugby Club.
There are also appearances by the Norfolk Mountain Rescue Team, and a group who do the race on unicycles.

Source:, Wikipedia

Street Luge - USA
Street luge is an extreme gravity-powered activity that involves riding a streetluge board (sometimes referred to as a sled) down a paved road or course. Street luge is also known as land luge or road luge. Like skateboarding, street luge is often done for sport and for recreation.
Other than the supine riding position and very high speeds (40-97 mph / 64-157 km/h), street luge has little relation to its winter namesake (luge). 
Street luge was born in Southern California as downhill skateboarders found they could reach faster speeds by lying down on their skateboards. This early form of the sport is now referred to as "classic style" or "butt boarding."

The boards used in this race varied from basic skateboards to complex skate cars in which the rider was completely enclosed by plastic or fiberglass. The sport was not commonly referred to as street luge at this time but the term luge was used to describe some participants riding position. Most contestants were standing up however an opening in the rules enabled riders to choose their own board position - including supine. By 1978, repeated injuries to both riders and spectators halted the races at Signal Hill.
Several riders from the Signal Hill races kept the sport alive by continuing to hold races in Southern California. Throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, both underground and professional races continued to be held in Southern California by such organizations as the Underground Racers Association (URA), Federation of International Gravity Racing (FIGR) and Road Racers Association for International Luge (RAIL). Race organizers in the 1980s and 1990s started implementing many more equipment, safety and race regulations.

Source:  Wikipedia


  1. Tetbury Woolsack Races - UK
    ===" showing off to local women "===
    What exactly ? Huh ?

    " Look, Senjorita ! Me have no da COJONES !" ?...


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