Amidst the backdrop of the World Cup currently being held in Russia, one would be forgiven for neglecting the certain other numerous events that are brightening the sporting calendar this summer.
One that certainly shouldn’t be missed for next year is a chance to witness the Wife Carrying Championships with Russia’s Nordic neighbours Finland once again playing host for the 23rd year.
Going far beyond the traditional ‘carrying over the threshold’, 53 people picked up their 53 partners around an obstacle course in the Finnish town in sunny July. Finland only has several months of sunlight per year.
13 countries were represented after extensive qualifications. The event has it’s roots in an old Finnish legend about a bandit who tested the strength of his men by carrying pigs around.
Running, waddling, and wading with wives over their shoulders seems extremely exerting. The heats are competed with three individual couples and all wives are equipped with helmets to avoid the numerous hazards that appear along the course, although there is a real risk of drowning in the water sectuib,
Those wishing to compete in next year’s tournament but have yet to tie the knot need to get their Tinder going.
This year, the Wife Carrying Championships was won by Vytautas Kirkliauskas and Neringa Kirkliauskien of Lithuanian, who produced a stunning victory over six time world champion and Finn Taisto Miettinen.
It is not necessary to compete with your own wife, in the tournament in the small town of Sonkajarvi in Central Finland, seven hours from Saint Petersburg, making the 2018 couple’s win all the more impressive, but those wishing to choose a partner more selectively may have to suffer a less than harmonious matrimony.
You can watch the video of the Wife Carrying Championship below.