If you were in Sonkajarvi, Finland over the weekend, you KNOW they held the 13th annual Wife Carrying Competition and that Estonian Margo Uusorg, 25, completed the 253.5-meter obstacle course in 59 seconds with “friend” Egle Soll, 23, clinging to his back in the trademark “Estonian Carry”: hanging upside down with her legs clenched around his neck.
Estonians have won the world-renowned distaff-hauling race eight years in a row, and Margo has won it four times himself. His brother Madis won in ’04. “We don’t have a secret, we just try to run fast and hope the legs work,” said Uusorg, who also mentioned that brother number three, Urmet, will offer stiff competition next year. “He holds the Estonian record for the 800 metres,” Margo stated.
An international crowd of 9,000 wife-whisking aficionados watched Uusorg win his partner’s weight in beer, a “bag full of wife carrying products,” a statue with “wife carrying motif,” and a mobile phone for his efforts, awarded by Dennis Rodman, who did not compete, citing his current lack of a wife and proper training.
“I’m not in shape … It could hurt the back,” the tattooed and pierced former Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons rebounding legend told Reuters. But he promised to train for next year. “I’ll carry the kids around the house or something.”
Event coordinators claim deep roots for wife carrying in local history. In the late 1800s there was in the area a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen, who is said to have accepted in his troops only those men who “proved their worth on a challenging track.” In those days, it was also a common practice to steal women from the neighboring villages.
Present-day rules include the stipulation that “the wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbor’s or you may have found her farther afield; she must, however, be over 17 years of age” and weigh at least 49 kilos (108 lbs).