Wife carrying race
There are many thoughts to how this sport first originated in Finland. Tales have been passed down from one person to another about a man named Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen. This man was considered a robber in the late 1800s, lived in a forest, and ran around with his gang of thieves causing harm to the villages. From what has been found, there are three ideas to why/how this sport was invented. First, Rosvo-Ronkainen and his thieves were accused of stealing food and women from villages in the area he lived in; then carried these women on their backs as they ran away, (hence the “wife” or women carrying). For the second idea, it has been said that young men would go to villages near their own, steal other men’s wives, and then have the woman become their own wife. These wives were also carried on the backs of the young men; this was referred to as “the practice of wife stealing." Lastly, there was the idea that Rosvo-Ronkainen trained his thieves to be “faster and stronger” by carrying big, heavy sacks on their backs, which could have eventually evolved to a sport because of the hard labor (endurance), and muscle strengthening; which most sports ensure. Even though this sport has been considered by some as a joke, competitors take it very seriously, just like any other sport.
Wife carrying is now practiced in the Australia, United States of America, Hong Kong, Estonia and other parts of the world besides Finland, and has a category in the Guinness Book of Records
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