Love of one’s country can take many forms…but participating in the World Championships of the Wife Carrying Competition is a whole other level!
It was back in 2011, but it feels like it was yesterday. We trained, we traveled and we tried our very best to represent Ireland. Things turned out a bit differently than we planned, but none the less we still savor the pride we had wearing the tri-colour!
The prize wasn’t money or medals, but a wheelbarrow filled with beer (to the amount of the wife’s weight). Despite the stereotype of the Irish, my husband and I aren’t even beer drinkers. But for us the prize was showing the world our commitment to the Emerald Isle.
Without giving away too much of the story, which you can watch the video below, we flew to Helsinki, Finland and drove six hours north to Sonkajarvi.
The night before the the big event all the competitors were invited to a party where they served traditional Reindeer Stew. I’ll have to post the recipe another time as it was very tasty despite my reservations. I mean, we were only miles away from the North Pole and I kept thinking of Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer! The couples were friendly enough but there was also a fierceness in the air! Maybe they were trying to maintain the intensity of the man said to be the father of the sport, Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen, which dates back to the 1800’s.
Whatever one can say about the idea of such a bizarre sporting competition, one thing is for sure. The honor of wearing our green jerseys for Ireland will always be a highlight of our lives. And certainly it was an adventure we will never forget.