What Is A Wife-Carrying Contest?


The sport is a metaphor for relationships, combining strength, teamwork and communication.

According to NBC-2.com, wife-carrying is the cat's pajamas in Eastern Europe (as it is in Australia and Ireland, pretty much anywhere that men eat lightning and poop thunder and women don't mind so much being inadvertently dropped from time to time). The Baltic heartland of Latvia has an especially strong zest for picking up one's wife and rushing with her to a not-so-far destination. Read: The Joy of Flex: Exercise Better Together

Evidently, Latvian wife-carrying competitions are exclusively uphill affairs. The burly gents charge 410 feet in the skyward direction because a famous local, romantic film depicted a gal asking to be carried to a hill's summit (Jesus, it sounds like the pilot of Dharma And Greg).


Things to know when engaging in wife-carrying:

  • Rule 1: The wife shall weigh no less than 110 pounds (50 kilograms).
  • Rule 2: The man shall not let any part of the wife touch the ground (or in some locales beach). 

Tips for successful wife-carrying:

  • While the "cross the threshold carry" is perfectly legal, it makes running difficult. Although the "fireman's carry" (over the shoulder, carried-off-by-Vikings style) is legal the "Saladman's carry*" (she's draped across his back with her legs around his head and her face bouncing off of his seat cover and lower back.
  • Don't yell at each other. Unless Ace Ventura's involved, very little verbiage is going to make the travel from her lips to his ears (look no further into that comment) and vice versa.
  • For men: be strong and run fast but not too fast that you trip or get tired.
  • For women: weigh close 110 pounds, especially if the guy isn't Big Jim Slade. It may be a lot to ask to allow this big galoot to eat weights and lift whatever he wants while the backseat (often called the "bitch" in the motorcycle gang community) has to diet. The alternative could get someone hurt, killed or ridiculed by larger, more rugged men.
  • Have a ball.

Tips for unsuccessful wife-carrying:

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