Wife Carrying is a sport where a male participant carries a female contestant through an obstacle course and the first one to reach the end wins. Sounds simple enough right?
While it originates from Finland, contests are now held all around the world but it can often be witnessed on a Friday night in your local town centre- sadly the competitive version is sans the booze.
The woman can be carried in either a fireman’s lift, a classic piggy back or upside down where her legs hook over the male’s shoulders, which is clearly the most dignified of all the positions- I’m sure you would agree. At least she will keep his ears nice and warm.
It is widely considered a joke, but those who compete in it take it very seriously indeed.
So how did it all come about? There are many versions of where it originated from but most of them involve ‘Ronkainen the Robber’ who would take his gang of thieves to local villages and pinch the women by throwing them over their shoulders and take them back into the forest where they all lived. It’s what fairytales are made of.
He apparently trained his men by getting them to carry large sacks on their backs in preparation for the weight of the woman when they came across one. This was often done with the intent to marry the women they stole, even though some of them were married already. Now- I’m no expert, but I don’t think any self-respecting woman would be in the mood to have a wedding after being dragged out of their home, away from her husband and kids to get hitched to a stranger with a tree as their witness- but call me old fashioned.
The sport has a long list of rules- the first being that you can have any willing wife partake in the sport with you (yours, your neighbour’s, a woman you meet in the street- it doesn’t really matter as long as she has a ring on her finger) but they must be over 17 years of age. Well, that narrows it down then.
The wife must be over 49kg and if she isn’t, she will be weighted down with a backpack until she meets the criteria. This sport is all about the comfort factor.
I think my favourite rule of all is that ‘all participants must enjoy themselves’- or at least fake it- the key to any successful marriage.
Extra points are awarded for the most entertaining couples or the ones who take the time to dress up in something amusing for their race. Is it not hilarious enough already?
And the prize if you manage to drag your missus through two dry obstacles and one wet obstacle that’s one metre deep?
A trophy? A voucher? A holiday? Nope! Their wife’s weight in beer- you couldn’t make this stuff up!
I don’t think even with an incentive like that my hubby will be hoisting my heft any time soon…maybe if I throw in a chiropractor appointment afterwards.
Tagged in Sport