Gatlinburg Scottish Games – May 13-14, 2011

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Located in Mills Park, just 3 minutes from Elk Springs Resort Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals, the Scottish Highland Games will continue for the 29th year. 

Gatlinburg Cabins

Gatlinburg Cabins

Gatlinburg -┬áHighland Games are events held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Certain aspects of the games are so well known as to have become emblematic of Scotland, such as the bagpipes, the kilt, and the heavy events, especially the caber toss. While centred on competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, and Scottish heavy athletics, the games also include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture.┬á (source…Wikipedia.org)

Several standard events include:

  • Caber toss: A long tapered pine pole or log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands (see photo). Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first. The smaller end that was originally held by the athlete then hits the ground in the 12 o’clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o’clock toss on an imaginary clock.┬á (source…Wikipedia.org)
  • Stone put: This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. There are two versions of the stone toss events, differing in allowable technique. The “Braemar Stone” uses a 20ΓÇô26┬álb stone for men (13ΓÇô18┬álb for women) and does not allow any run up to the toeboard or “trig” to deliver the stone, i.e., it is a standing put. In the “Open Stone” using a 16ΓÇô22┬álb stone for men (or 8ΓÇô12┬álb for women), the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release. Most athletes in the open stone event use either the “glide” or the “spin” techniques.┬á (source…Wikipedia.org)
  • Scottish hammer throw: This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22┬álb for men or 12 or 16┬álb for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one’s head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.┬á (source…Wikipedia.org)

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