Alum Terry Smith and the Highland Games

Spartan alum and 1989-Division One heavyweight state runner-up Terry Smith was recently featured in an article about the 26th annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games coming up in Itasca, Ill. on June 15th.  Over the course of the past 15  years, Smith has compted in more than 150 Scottish athletic competitions and says that interest developed after he was involved in wrestling and power lifting in college.

In addition to the strength training, Smith also was attracted to the rich culture and history behind the Scottish games.

“The culture had rites of passage involving feats of strength and feats of athleticism for war training and early competition,” Smith said. “These activities have been going on for hundreds of years … and to me that is fascinating.”

Heavy athletic competitions are performed in kilts and contain events such as the Scottish hammer toss, heavy stone and weight throws for distance, as well as the focal event of the games, the caber toss. The caber — a 20-foot-long, 175-pound telephone pole — must be flipped away from the “tosser” as far as possible. The further and more accurate the caber is thrown, the better.

The caber toss also happens to be Smith’s favorite activity in the competition, and according to him, it is the most defining event of heavy athletics.

“I enjoy doing the caber toss the most because it is the most unusual, and it sets the competitions apart and makes (the games) what it is,” Smith said.

To read the rest of the article, click here!  Best of luck to Terry at the upcoming games!

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