Gold-Medal winners Bryan Clay and Jeremy Campbell enjoyed a memorable day at the Highland Games in Invercharron, Scotland today as their incredible Team USA: Britain Bound tour continued.
The Highland Games, a historic competition that features events such as the caber toss, the hammer toss, the weighted ball throw and the heavy weight for distance and height event , presented Campbell and Clay with a truly unique experience. Dressed in kilts and their Team USA gear, the pair absorbed instruction from a local "heavy athlete" before trying the Highland Games events for themselves.
Campbell and Clay found themselves being applauded and encouraged by the crowd, the judges and the athletes alike as they worked their way through the various events. Each discipline tested the athletes in way they hadn't been tested before and both of them came away with a healthy respect for the heavy athletes.
After completing the event, the pair were treated to a musical performance by local children, then given instruction on the iconic bagpipe by a local expert.
My favorite part of the day was trying some of the Highland Games activities, especially the caber toss. It reminded me of Gotzis track meet in Australia because of the way the community comes out to watch and support the athletes.
I was most surprised by how difficult the events at the games were. In a lot of ways they were similar to our throwing events but the items and weights were very different. I guess everyone was surprised that I didn’t rain at all.
Three words to describe the Highland Games: Challenging, competitive and fun. I could tell the people at the Highland games really love the athletes and sports. As an athlete, that’s something you always appreciate.
I would like to try the caber toss again. I was starting to get the hang of it and just needed a couple more attempts.
I felt like a tourist when I showed up with a kilt - and had spandex underneath. Local custom says nothing underneath the kilt.
Can't wait to see the pictures I took of the jumping salmon. We stopped by a river on the way home and were able to watch salmon jumping upstream. The Scottish Highlands are really beautiful.
At the end of the day it was great to get to our hotel - where we are relaxing ahead of a another busy day with Team USA: Britain Bound.
Today was the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Time to put these world class athletes to the ultimate physical challenge – Scotland style!
Highland Games have their origins in the Scottish Clan system and date back for over three hundred years. The Clan Chief would encourage his men to participate in feats of strength, skill and endurance to prove themselves skilled in battle. Several Highland Games take place around Scotland during the summer and early fall months and luckily, Jeremy and Bryan made it just in the nick of time to attend the final Games of the season!
The Invercharron Highland Gathering, as it was known, started in 1888 in the grounds of Invercharron House. Traditionally the final games of the year, many of the Scottish Games Association league results are decided at Invercharron, making it the most exciting of the season. The Games were revived in 1981 and celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2006.
Bryan enjoyed trying out different events and even trying to play the bagpipes! We also have it on good authority that he was seen trying to do the traditional dance – the Highland fling! Let’s see if there are any photos to prove this tale…