Have you heard of this “sport” called wife carrying? Today was the World Championship. Apparently it is a thing! A man runs around carrying a woman, like cave-people, and they measure to see who can make Betty Friedan spin around in her grave fastest. In all super-seriousness, though, it’s just a race invented as Finland, mostly as a joke. But now it is real. It is so so real. It’s also breaking news: the Finnish team won. Let’s learn more about this bizarreness, shall we?
From what can be gleaned after today’s events, you do not even have to be married to the woman you are carrying, making the event title something of a misnomer. Here’s how it went down:
Finland continued to reign in the world wife-carrying championships on Saturday as Taisto Miettinen sprinted fastest along 253-metres (832-feet) track, carrying Kristiina Haapanen upside-down on his back.
The couple, who also won the world championship title last year, finished the race in one minute and five seconds.
Estonia’s Alar Voogle and Kristi Viltrop tripped in the water obstacle and were second some five seconds behind the winners.
And some historical context: “The wife-carrying competition has its roots in a legend of Ronkainen the Robber and his gang who lived in the forests and stole food and girls from villages.” Too good to be true, really. And yet!
Wikipedia is particularly helpful when it comes to this game, for those hoping to learn more. And there is much to learn! Here is one fun fact:
Several types of carry may be practised: piggyback, fireman’s carry (over the shoulder), or Estonian-style (the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, holding onto his waist).
So ladies, next time your “man” tells you he wants to give you the Estonian, just turn around and enjoy it.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 3, 2010