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Schwingfest Swiss wrestlers – and spectators – feel the heat

The Federal Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival, or “Schwingfest”, takes place in Switzerland every three years. This year, around 300,000 grapple fans travelled to Estavayer-le-Lac in canton Fribourg over three boiling days.

The event requires massive behind-the-scenes work, and in addition to Swiss wrestling – in which burly Swiss try to throw opponents onto their backs using each other’s shorts – there is no shortage of opportunities for sponsors or food and drink vendors.

In addition to wrestling, the crowd, which includes ladies and gentleman of all ages in traditional dress, was entertained by flag-swinging and stone-tossing.

This year’s festival took place on probably the hottest weekend of the year. It was therefore unsurprising that a range of colourful headgear was donned – and copious amounts of beer downed.

All images: Keystone, Text: Gaby Ochsenbein 


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