Blog Post 3 (Week 6)

Wife Carrying Part 2

This discussion is a more in depth look at the topic Wife Carrying from my first blog post.

Wife Carrying is a sport that originated in the country of Finland and has since spread to various countries around the world. According to, there are six other countries that participate in this amusing sport: “Australia, the UK, USA, India, Hong Kong, and Germany.” The Wife Carrying World Championship is held in Sonkajärvi, Finland. This has been an annual tradition since 1992.

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I have run cross country for my school since the seventh grade, and I love the atmosphere at cross country meets. I can feel the excitement and adrenaline in the air before a race. Running long distances through woods, sand, mud, rocks, and hills is a difficult task to accomplish alone, so having others to run with is a great way to keep motivated during a race. Additionally, spectators cheering along the course and at the finish line is always encouraging. Usually at races, there are t-shirts for sale to commemorate the experience. My wardrobe now contains a ton of cross country t-shirts, and I love wearing them.

When I first learned about the sport of Wife Carrying, I found it very funny and wholesome. I can imagine the atmosphere at this race is similar to a cross country race. Since competitors race with their partners on their backs, I think it would make these races even more fun to participate in or spectate. I would love to be a part of this tradition at some point in my life, regardless if I am actually competing in it. Going to an event like this would be so entertaining to witness. Oftentimes, the couples will dress up in costumes, as shown in the picture below.

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While there are not any symbols or artifacts from this practice, there is some fun history behind the origin of the sport. In Finland, men would court women by running to their village, picking them up, and carrying them off.

Competitors can choose between different ways to carry their partner. There is a very common and highly effective position, the Estonian style, where the wife dangles upside down on the carrier’s back. The wife could also piggyback or be carried across her partner’s shoulder.

I found this blog from Frederick, South Dakota, a very small town of only 190 people. It includes a video about the event. It seems like an awesome team building activity for couples and a fun day for the spectators, too. In this small town’s competition, the couples receive t-shirts for the event. From the Frederick, South Dakota website, “The amount of beer the winner receives is determined not by a scale but by putting beer on one end of a teeter totter and the “wife” on the other until it balances.” Here is a link to the YouTube video that is on the blog.

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