Text: ALEIXO Arthur Pictures: Eukonkanto Oy

Wife carrying
Wife Carrying contest 2017. Eukonkanto Oy

Finns are special people with strange tastes. They enjoy salty liquorice after all. At first glance, they can be a little cold and serious, but you will discover that they have an excellent sense of humor. Take a look at the unusual sporting events that draw thousands of spectators and contestants every year! Here’s a round-up of a few.

Go on the mud !

The top Finnish cross-country skiers were training in the mud in summer to be in perfect condition on their cross-country skis once winter came. They thought it would be more fun to associate these painful training methods with the most universally shared fun activity, football. They organize the first football mud championship in 1998 in Hyrynsalmi. The Swamp Soccer was born.

Christiano Ronaldo’s technical subtleties will not be of much use here. The field is a swamp, there are no offside rules but as usual, the one with the most goals wins. Okay, now you're ready for the World Football Championships in the swamps of Hyrynsalmi in northeastern Finland. Be careful not to lose your boots in the mud...

Wife carrying celebration
Wife carrying celebration. Eukonkanto Oy

Ready, Steady, Go!

If you like to get dirty but you don’t like football you can try the Wife Carrying! This "discipline" dates back to the 19th century if we believe the legend. A local bandit named Ronkainen used to rob women and bring them home by carrying them on his back. One act replicates each year since 1990 by the couples competing at the world championships organized in Sonkajärvi in ​​Eastern Finland.

The legend of this brigand has been honored since 1990 at the World Women's Wear Championship. Participating men must make a special run with a woman on their back. The official circuit, which stretches 253.5 meters, takes them into the water, sand, grass and gravel. Different obstacles also stand in their way. The winner is of course the fastest couple.

As a man, it is obviously necessary to have a woman to carry to participate in the competition of wife carrying . This woman does not necessary have to be the wife or companion of the man. Her minimum weight must reach 49 kilos. When her weight is lower, she must wear a backpack to reach 49 kilos. When the woman falls off his back, the couple must take 15 seconds penalty.

Throw it away!

Don’t know what to do with your old Nokia? We have a little idea for you, show him who is the boss and try to throw it to the moon! This is the only sport where you can throw all the frustrations caused by these modern equipments away.

The mobile phone throwing started in Savonlinna in Finland. The company Fennolingua was in partnership with local recycling centers and they created a championship tournament.

The championship participants compete in four main categories: the over-the-shoulder throw where you have to throw it as far as you can; the "freestyle" category where everything is a matter of aesthetics and creativity and the team category, where three teammates have one throw each and their scores are added together. Finally, there is the junior category, reserved for kids under 12 years. Beyond the bizarre sport, the organizers insist on the environmental vocation of the competition, all phones are recycled at the end of the competition.

Just try it!

These sports gain a lot of popularity and now many countries organize their own championships. The global interest turned it into an international sport! If you are in Finland, try to attend or participate, it will be a good story to tell to your friends !

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