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The Rules of a Wife Carrying Competition

(Photo: Visit Lakeland)

Wife carrying is an old sport in Finland and Estonia derived from a rather aggressive dating practice that has fallen out of favor in modern times: grab a woman, toss her over your shoulder, and carry off to a newly married life.

(Video Link)

So file that practice under “do not try this at home.” The modern sport, though, is a bit more civilized. Grab a wife (not necessarily your own) and carry her over an obstacle course faster than anyone else. The sport has been formalized and regulated in Finland since 1992. When On Earth lists some of the rules that athletes must follow to enter into the Finnish championship:

  • The length of the official track is 253.5 meters with a sand track surface.
  • The track has two dry obstacles and a water obstacle about one meter deep.
  • The wife to be carried may be your own, or 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 weighs less than 49 kg, she will be burdened with a rucksack containing additional weight to bring the total load to be carried up to 49 kg.
  • If a contestant drops the wife, he has to lift her on to his back or in his arms and continue carrying.
  • All participants must enjoy themselves.
  • The winner is the couple who completes the course in the shortest time.
  • The only equipment allowed is a belt worn by the carrier and a helmet worn by the carried.
  • 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.
  • Wife Carrying Competition has two categories Official Wife Carrying World Championships Series and Senior series  40 years and older applicants.
  • Also the most entertaining couple, the best costume, and the strongest carrier will be rewarded with a special prize.

-via VA Viper

(Photo: Visit Lakeland)

Should wife carrying be an Olympic sport?

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