Culture: Sports and Games
The weight throw is divided into two separate events, one for distance and one for height. The distance event, said to be one of the most graceful of heavy events, uses a twenty-eight pound weight for men and a fourteen pound weight for women. In simple terms, the thrower grasps the weight in one hand, spins around in three waltzing pirouettes, and heaves the weight as far as possible.
For the height event, participants attempt to toss a fifty-six pound box weight over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each contestant has three attempts to clear a certain height. Successful clearance allows the athlete to advance to the next round, for which the bar is raised higher. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss; in the event of a tie, the winner is the one with the fewest misses. (Stewards are always prepared with a plentiful supply of bars, as these are often snapped when the weights fall onto them.)
Many heavyweights seem to approach this event in a nonchalant way: frequently the entrant saunters up to the weight laying beneath the bar and suddenly snatches it up with one hand without even glancing upward. This approach is indeed deceptive, since an enormous amount of strength and skill is necessary for this event. Former champion Charlie Allan compared the feat to throwing a seven-year-old boy over a double-decker bus!