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Wife Carrying Championships

Listed under Spectator Sports in Helsinki, Finland.

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Most men dearly love their wives. They cook, help round the house, change nappies, get up in the middle of the night to tend to the kids and take them out to fancy restaurants and off to romantic holiday destinations. Some however, toss their one and only over their shoulders and run an obstacle course in the Wife Carrying World Championships, held every July in Finland.

Couples come from all over, with the 2008 championships having teams from places as far as Kenya and China joining what is probably the ultimate test of matrimony likely to be displayed in public. Participation may also be due to the prize being your wife’s weight in beer!

The sport originated in Finland as a joke, but has historical links. Supposedly men courted women by running to their village, picking them up and running off with them. Ah, to be Scandinavian and in love!

Watching the event leaves a massive smile on your face as you watch men running round a serious-looking obstacle course with their wife on their back and the day has a festival air to it alongside a general sense of fun and good will.

Written by  John Johnston.

Other expert and press reviews

“Finland's strangest sporting contest”

By Stephen Bleach for 'The Times' First published June 17, 2007 There is, at least, a little history behind wife-carrying. In the 19th century, burly locals made a habit of raiding neighbouring villages and making off with their womenfolk. Today, the … Read more...

Written by press. Read full article from The Times, 17 June 2007

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