Tag Archive for: Steinstossen

The Swiss-Power Stone

At least once a year I go out, pick up a stone, and throw it. More often than not I have some success, but I always have fun. Stone throwing is one of the main three traditional Swiss sports. It is also easiest to explain, a point that is even more clear after watching Hornussen for the first time on TV this afternoon. During a long season, a stone throw competition provides the perfect break from the action. It is a chance to try something different, meet up with some new people, feel very “Swiss,” and not worry (too much) about the results.
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The Art of the Stone Throwing

Stone throwing on top of Rigi

In addition to hammer throwing, I’m entering my second season as a mediocre stone thrower. On Sunday I competed in my first competition of the season, the Rigi Schwingen and Alpine Festival. The setting was breathtaking. A large crowd woke up early and rode the funicular train up to 5,000 feet. The reward was some good competition and a panoramic view of the alps.
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In Search of a Good Ring

It’s hard to find good competitions this time of year, so I’ve actually spent a lot of time lately searching for good hammer rings. Showing up to a competition in Europe can be a bit of a gamble in this department. For instance, check out this ring fellow UW grad Aretha Thurmond had to throw out of in July. I’ve already found one great ring in Locarno and visited it for four meets this year. This week I had a chance to explore another ring with my former roommate, Sultana Frizell, who took a break from her training camp in Germany to visit me. On Wednesday, we found a good ring at a meet in Löffingen, a pint-sized town in the Black Forest of southwest Germany.

With Richard, Yvette, and Sultana at the Schwarzwälder Werfercup

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Stone Throwing With Flower Power

It’s a rare opportunity when I guy can put on a powder blue shirt with a edelweiss flower pattern and come off as more masculine, so when I heard about the opportunity to do just that I immediately signed up for the stone throw competition at the 2010 Eidgenössiches Schwing- und Älperfest (ESAF) in Frauenfeld. After all, what is more masculine than seeing who can throw a giant rock the farthest.

Before I explain how the competition went, let me explain a little about the ESAF. The event is the Olympics of traditional Swiss sports. It is held every three years and the main attraction is schwingen, a form of wrestling that is the Swiss national sport and traces its roots back hundreds of years in the Alps. Rather than explain the rules, I suggest you check out this video from the last ESAF in 2007. As you can see, it is an extremely unique and interesting sport to watch and even more fun to watch in person.
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