Back in October in sunny Biarritz
A festival took place that thrilled our blogger to bits.
For ten days Basque athletes showed off their strength,
So listen in there as we describe all at length.
 
The first event was familiar – a mighty tug o’ war –
Which had all the crowd clamouring for more.
This game goes back to 2000 BC
Or so claimed the Speaker Mr ETXART Gabi.

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In Scottish Games stones, weights and hammers are used
Thrown for height and for distance – to keep all amused.
While the big event in Scotland is tossing the caber,
The Basque Games accessories reflect old forms of labour.

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The economy down there is based partly on wood,
So at wielding the saw the Basques have to be good.
At Biarritz the saw event was a great sight to see:
With the Bidart brothers around, who’d want to be a tree?

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The cart-lifting event was next on the agenda,
No less than 3-6-5 kilos – what a mind bender!
Once lifted, the idea is to turn the cart round
Then lower it safely back down to the ground.
 
The following event was a challenge to be sure
As round and round the gym the competitors tore.
The aim is to run fast for as long as you can
With a 41 kilo milk churn held in each hand.

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The equipment for the next event was a winch and a pulley,
The photo will help you to understand fully.
43-kilo hay bales to more than 6 meters were lifted,
At 11 bales a minute, the athletes were really very gifted.

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If the Scots honour blacksmiths by hurling the hammer,
The Basques use the anvil with just as much glamour.
An 18 kilo anvil?  No problem for Casuso.
He lifts it 58 times a minute – without one drop of ouzo!

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Customs may vary from one country to another,
But competitors from all over are like brother and brother.
They share the same spirit and have the same goal:
To keep traditions alive with body and soul.
Mary PINET

Courreur de Stadion 04

Force basque in French prose:
Just see next article
Games in the past: