When Sport Meets Marriage


After 600 years of blood, sequins and animal-rights campaigns, the sport of Bullfighting came to an end this weekend with the last ever fight in Barcelona.  And while the fans cry fowl and the PETA-crowd celebrates, it’s clear that we need to replace it with a new sport before someone thinks of an equally gruesome one. While ChessBoxing (apparently ‘The Thinking Person’s Contact Sport’) and Cheese-Rolling (exactly what it says) are good contenders, our vote goes to thrilling sport of ‘Wife-Carrying’.

The sport originated in Finland, as a result of two traditions – one, the 19th Century Finnish tradition of men stealing their brides from neighboring villages, and the second, of soldiers having to prove their worth by carrying heavy sacks of flour. Someone decided to put them together, and created a race where men must carry their wives through an obstacle course filled with ditches, pools and other Japanese game show-style hazards. Wife-carrying quickly gained popularity in Finland– not a surprise, given their love for crazy races like ‘Mobile Phone Throwing’ – but the true test was when the rest of the world took it up.

Wife-Carrying now boasts its own racing calendar, with over 39 races all over the world, including Japan, China, Ireland, Germany, Latvia and the United States. It even has a strict set of strategies, race rules (a 15 second penalty for dropping your wife) and loopholes to the rules. (Men must carry wives, but they needn’t be their own. They could be a neighbour’s, or one found ‘further afield’.)

And while it will never be as bloody and dangerous as Bullfighting, the sport more than makes up for it with totally NSFW race positions.

Dedicated to Colors peeps Giulia and Bryce, who are now eligible to race!