With pants fights, yodeling and Unspunnen stone throwing, the Swiss wrestling festival celebrated the “traditional values” of Switzerland this weekend in Pratteln (BL) in the presence of Ignazio Cassis. In terms of results, 25-year-old Joel Wicki from Lucerne emerged as the winner.
As the winner of the Bernese Matthias Aschwanden in the final round, Joel Wicky managed to put an end to the hegemony of the Bernese Association, which had won the last four titles.
The man from Lucerne had qualified for this final pass with extreme accuracy and got the draw in the 7th pass against Fabian Staudenmann after he had lured the correction.
Joel Wicki, who lost in the final pass of the last federal party after just 40 seconds of fighting against Christian Stucki, was able to turn his back on the very offensive Bernese. A below average wrestler (1.83m), he placed his decisive attack after 12’42” bout to overwhelm the 50,000 spectators in the arena.
>> The 19:30 details on Joel Wicky’s win:
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No final victory, but coronations for the “Welsh”
A total of 274 wrestlers were selected for this 46th national championship. Septante saw her journey come to an end on Saturday. The “Welsh” did not achieve the final victory, but several brought back crowns, Freiburg’s Romain Collaud, who won his first crown, Lario Kramer and Sven Hofer.
Questioned in the forum, Emmanuel Crausaz, organizer of the 2016 Federal Festival in Estavayer, draws a very positive “balance” of this festival for the Romands and welcomes the “renewal of the Friborg struggle”. In general, he notes that the crowd was in a good childish atmosphere, but regrets that the party was not televised in French-speaking Switzerland.
>> Interview with Emmanuel Crausaz in the forum:
For Ignazio Cassis a “discipline that pays off”.
Parallel to the fighting, various speeches and demonstrations of traditional Swiss culture took place over the weekend. Federal President Ignazio Cassis described the wrestling party as a symbolic event for Switzerland. Wrestling is not an Olympic discipline, you are not rewarded with millions but with a bull, he continued.
And yet 400,000 people turned out and the party was a hit on German-language television. “In short, a minority of wrestlers have proved to the majority of sports fans that their discipline pays off,” concluded the Ticino native.
Heinz Tännler, SVP State Councilor from Zug, where the last Federal Wrestling Festival took place, described this sport as a balancing act between “country ties” and added value of several million Swiss francs. In these times of crisis and war in Europe, such an event is more important than ever, he said.
Magnus II replaced Magnus I
The Zug authorities also handed over the federal wrestling flag to Pratteln, where it will be kept for the next three years. Thomas Weber, SVP Council of State Basel-Landschaft and chairman of the festival’s organizing committee, emphasized the importance of living traditions as a support for cohesion in the country, in the countryside, but also in the cities.
The Unspunnen Stone Throw at the Federal Wrestling Festival. [Georgios Kefalas – Keystone]Other political figures were present at the celebration, above all Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer (UDC) and National Council President Irène Kälin (Greens).
Everyone could follow the party program with almost 200 drummers, just as many gymnasts, a children’s choir, dozens of yodellers and alphorn players as well as a pop orchestra from Alphornalpen from the front row. There were also stone throwing competitions (83.5 kg, 40 kg and 20 kg) and a Hornuss competition.
The award ceremony was followed by a renewed presentation of prizes, cows and horses. The bull Magnus II, the trophy traditionally awarded to the king of wrestling, has emerged. Organizers announced on Sunday that Magnus I was unable to recover from an infection in time.
>> The details from John Nicolet at 12:45 p.m.:
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