Cover story Misc

Olympics in a Finnish way

{mosimage}Finland is passionate about sports. In 1952, Helsinki hosted the Olympics and the city has organized the World Championships in Athletics twice. The country is also famous for its rally and formula one drivers, and of course, for its proud ice hockey team. But every year, during the summer, some other sports are more important. You might not have heard of them, but as you can imagine, these competitions imply the real Finnish spirit: mobile phones and sauna.


Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships

The mobile phones to throw are provided and you can even choose the best model for you. There is an area where you have to stay and the phone must land within the marked throwing sector. The official jury of the competition will accept or disqualify the throw. The jury’s decisions cannot be protested. Touch call! Good news is that there will be no doping tests, although all the contests have to behave their selves. The categories are Junior, Freestyle, Original and Team Original. For the Original category there is competition on 27th August. Winners from the national championships will be automatically in the finals.

25. August 2007 in Savonlinna.

Sauna World Championship

{mosimage} Sauna was invented in Finland and all the Finns have been sitting in there for all of their lives. In addition to Finns there are lot of thick skin people around the word and they are ready to take the challenge. The entrance fee for competitors is 50 euros and doctor certificate is needed. Even when Finns often drink few beers in or after sauna, alcohol and drugs are absolutely forbidden. Competitor has to sit and posture must be erect the whole time. Temperature is about 110ºC, in every 30 seconds half a litre of water will be thrown on the stove. The last person in the sauna is the winner. The rules are simple; if you can't stand the heat – get out of the sauna!

3. – 4. August 2007 in Heinola

Boot Throwing World Championship

Obviously Finns love throwing things. In boot throwing the brand of the equipment is essential: only four brands are allowed, including the classic Kontio boot from Nokia. The throwing style and the grip of the boot are free, but the leg of the boot must be straight when the boot is in the air. The throw is accepted if the boot falls in the marked area in time (in 30 seconds). This is the sport for everyone: from kids at age 10 to seniors up to 75 years can participate and for those taking this competition seriously, there is 2-day world championship with the finals. At least one thrower from every nation gets to the final.

17. – 19. August.2007, Harjavalta

Swamp Soccer

{mosimage} Swamp soccer has been the most famous summer event in Hyrynsalmi ever since 1998. The competition has been World Championships since 2000 and it is more and more popular each year and have made international headlines and involved thousands of soccer fans.

Some of the rules are obvious, like playing without a uniform top is not allowed. But there are rules differing from regular soccer. Because it is harder to play on a swamp than on a grass playing time is all together 20 minutes. The number of players per team on the field is 1 + 5. Each team must have at least 4 players on the field.

There are recreational, women's, mixed and business series teams. You will not be alone in the swamp: in addition to mosquitoes there are hundreds of Finnish and foreign teams with their supporters. 

12.-15. July 2007, Hyrynsalmi


Air Guitar World Championship

The Air Guitar World Championship was developed half by a joke at music video festival in Oulu in 1996. Ever since the competition has been success! The once so absurd idea has become into an international media event that attracts a wide international league of contestants and audience. This contest really rocks; it is hold in 17 different countries, all the way from New Zealand back to Finland. Air Guitar is all about surrendering to the music without having an actual instrument. Anyone can taste rock stardom by playing the Air Guitar. It is easy to get involved: just go to the website, register, tune your guitar!

Keep on Rockin' in the Free World! 

5. – 7. September 2007 in Oulu 

Wife Carrying Competition

The Wife Carrying Competition is held in Sonkajärvi’s and it has deep roots in the local history. In the late 1800’s there was a strong robber, who use to steal girls and carry them. Back then, it was not unusual to steal women from the neighbouring villages.

Nowadays wife carrying is a good sport and lot of fun. There are several styles and ways to carry the wife, but be careful and don’t drop her or otherwise you will loose points! The Greatness of the prize depends on the fact how great the wife is: the winner will receive the equivalent of the wife’s weight in beer and he also gets a statue with wife carrying motif. That is something to aim at, right? In addition to the strong and quick Finnish couples the competitors come from several other countries even as far away as from Australia and Japan.

7. July 2007, Sonkajärvi


Barbecue competition 

Finns love to barbecue and because the Nordic summer is short, they do it as much as they can. In August there is a barbecue competition held in the centre of Helsinki. There has been at least two months time to practise. Anyone can get involved and the fee is 20 euros. Everything is provided: the grill, food and even the hat. You can bring your own secret barbecue sauces and oils, if you like. The winner will be the one, who has the best style, who is the most creative and fastest. And the prize is brand new grill, fame and glory! This is the most delicious competition of all! Ready, steady, grill!

4. August 2007, Helsinki

More information about these competitions on the book:
Funny Finnish Pursuits
by R. Etelämäki, B. Maximus, A. Kmulainen.

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