Helvetic.LA

LA's virtual Swiss neighborhood!

Did You Know That Switzerland Has a King?

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Once every three years, there is a National Alpine Games Festival, the Eidgenössisches Schwingfest. More than 200,000 visitors made their way to Frauenfeld, where the last festival took place in August 2010. The winner is crowned the Schwinger King. He enjoys a hero’s status and wins a living bull as the main prize.

This year’s winner Kilian Wenger standing next to Arnold, the bull:

Lifestyle Feature Photo

Wrestling itself is not only a Swiss sport—just think of the Sumo wrestlers of Japan—but Swiss wrestling,Schwingen, itself dates back to 1600. Despite its up-to-date training methods and competition rules, it has kept a traditional touch: the ring is padded with sawdust and the competitions are only held in the open air. Athletes wear a traditional outfit with a pair of loose shorts over their clothes. The two fighters grab hold of each other’s shorts and try to throw their opponent onto his back. Several festivals are held each year, but only theEidgenössisches Schwingfest has a king at the end. Two U.S. athletes, both citizens of Switzerland and the U.S., attended this year´s competition in Frauenfeld. Martin Steiner of Vacaville, CA, didn´t win many fights this time. But he enjoyed the atmosphere and being back in Switzerland. Do U.S. athletes have plans for the Eidgenössisches Schwingfest in 2013? We will cover the Schwingfest in the upcoming issues of this newsletter.

See more and read more about this fascinating sport.

More from “Switzerland calling”, the Swiss Embassy’s newsletter here

Written by M:)

November 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

Posted in Little Switzerland

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. Can’t wait for Burgdorf 2013! You go, Wenger Killian!

    Marlène

    November 9, 2010 at 1:42 am


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