• Short Summary

    WHILE OLYMPIC FEVER IS BEGINNING TO GRIP THE WORLD, THE PEOPLE OF FRIESLAND IN HOLLAND HAVE STAGED, IN ADVANCE, A MINOR OLYMPIAD OF THEIR OWN - AND WITH A DEFINITE LOCAL FLAVOUR.

  • Description

    WHILE OLYMPIC FEVER IS BEGINNING TO GRIP THE WORLD, THE PEOPLE OF FRIESLAND IN HOLLAND HAVE STAGED, IN ADVANCE, A MINOR OLYMPIAD OF THEIR OWN - AND WITH A DEFINITE LOCAL FLAVOUR.

    THE CENTRE OF IT ALL IS AT WINSUM, WHERE EACH YEAR THE BEST POLE VAULTERS IN FRIESLAND GATHER TO DEMONSTRATE THEIR PROWESS. IT'S NOT SO MUCH A MATTER OF HEIGHT BUT DISTANCE, FOR THE FRIESLAND POLE VAULTERS LEAP THE LOCAL CANALS NOT A BAR STRUNG BETWEEN TWO TALL UPRIGHTS.

    THE SPORT DATES BACK CENTURIES AND FOR THE FRIESLANDERS IT WAS A QUICK WAY OF GETTING FROM POINT A TO POINT B WHEN BRIDGES WERE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. BUT SINCE 1957, THE LOCAL EXPERTS HAVE STAGED AN ANNUAL CHAMPIONSHIP RUN TO STRICT COMPETITIVE LINES - EVEN TO THE WEARING OF CORRECT TRACT GEAR.

    THE SECRET OF IT ALL IS THE POLE WHICH IS 24 FEET (8 METRES) LONG AND FIXED WITH A SQUARE WOODEN PLATE AT THE BASE TO PREVENT IT SINKING INTO THE MUD ON THE CANAL FLOORS.

    ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS THE IDEA IS TO JUMP FOR THE POLE ALREADY PLACED IN THE CENTRE OF THE 10 YARDS YARD (10 METRE) WIDE CANAL. THEN, AT THE RIGHT MOMENT, SCRAMBLE TO THE TOP WHILE THE SLENDER STEM IS MOMENTARILY VERTICAL- AND HOPE GRAVITY WILL DO THE REST BY CARRYING ONE DOWN AND ACROSS.

    IT'S NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS - FOR MANY OF THE COMPETITORS, MEN AND WOMEN, FIND THAT THE LANDING PLACE ISN'T TERRA FIRMA BUT THE RATHER MUDDY WATERS OF THE CANAL.

    THE WINNING JUMP IN YESTERDAY'S (AUGUST 22) CHAMPIONSHIP WAS 15 YARDS (14 METERS) AND ACCORDING TO THE WINNER, IT TOOK A LOT OF PRACTICE WHILE WET AND COLD.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVABPXL0QOUS3S1V19WUJTLBCIO8
    Media URN:
    VLVABPXL0QOUS3S1V19WUJTLBCIO8
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    23/08/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:21:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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