Nyon wrestles with tradition

To become a champion wrestler is the dream of many Swiss farm boys Keystone Archive

The Swiss Alpine Wrestling Festival is one of the most popular traditional events in the country. The long awaited open-air event is held only every three years, and this time, the town of Nyon on Lake Geneva will host it from August 24 to August 26.

This content was published on August 17, 2001 - 13:58

For the first time in 15 years, the event is being held in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

Nearly 300 wrestlers from across the country will fight for the honour of wearing the crown for the next three years. Dressed in white or in farmer's clothes, each man tries to pin the shoulders of his competitor to the sawdust floor of the ring.

Dozens of musical groups, choirs and orchestras will provide musical entertainment for the 30,000 spectators expected to descend on Nyon for the event.

Exhibitions are scheduled of other traditional sports and customs, such as stone throwing and "Hornussen" - a unique cross between golf and baseball.

The organisers have chosen "Emotion and Ambition" as the theme of this year's festival. It gets underway next Friday with a parade and the handing over of the official flag.


In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.