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Hayward's World Lumberjack Championship this Weekend

Written By: Janette Locke  |  Posted: Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The Lumberjacks and Jills participating in this year's Lumberjack World Championships can't wait to have some fun, prove their skills, set new records and enjoy their favorite pastime: Chopping wood. But who would have guessed that such an old, backbreaking trade would have turned into an extremely popular, entertaining sport? Not very many people, but the multitudes of loggers residing in Hayward, Wisconsin seem to be quite taken with this trade, turned sport. Their Lumberjack World Championships, which started back in 1960 and have been going strong ever since, draw thousands of spectators from all over the globe. More than 100 competitors show up to compete in the 21 different logging events that take place over the three day Championship period, but not all of them walk away with prize money, and some walk away with permanent injuries (Carson Bosworth accidentally chopped off his big toe while participating in a Canadian underhand chopping event), but that's to be expected when you're swinging a sharp ax.

Log rolling seems to be one of the most popular events of the World Lumberjack Championships. It involves great mental and physical ability to focus, keep moving and "never take your eyes off your opponent's feet" (the log rollers' #1 rule). Two contestants step onto their 14-15 inch log (women's logs are 14 inches long, men's are 15), pick up some speed and each attain a steady rhythm before the referee says, "Go" and the timer starts. Using their spiked-shoe-clad feet to try to gain control of the speedily rolling log, each roller attempts to stop the log just in time to knock off their opponent. Because this sport is so competitive and fun, many children learn how to roll logs at three to five years of age. What kid wouldn't want to be able to dump their friend (or worst enemy) into the water without getting in trouble?

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