Igloo Building and Hay Bale Festival – Lviv, Ukraine – 2

Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.


The two igloos built from hay caused great interest amongst their family’s male neighbours and a number of them tried to build an igloo themselves from hay bales. The female neighbours were more inspired by the ice cube igloo and baked some cakes based on this design. The two hay bale brothers judged the male neighbour’s igloos and the other brother judged the cake contest.

Word of the strangely shaped creations spread around Lviv and people resolved to have a competition in 1910 when the three brothers returned. This proved to be a success and gradually more and more contestants took part in the competition over the years until World War I reared its ugly head. The first contest after the conflict in 1920 attracted nearly a thousand entrants, who were anxious to participate in a fun contest after the horrors of the war.

The 1920 contest marked the introduction of some other hay bale related events such as tossing the bale into the upper floor of a barn and throwing the bale as far as possible from a standing position. The 1921 event saw entrants from Poland, Russia, and the USA take part. This was also the first year when woman were allowed to take part in the hay bale contests and men could bake an igloo-shaped cake.

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