Cross-Country Ice Fishing – 1

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.


This energy-sapping event from Flin Flon was the inspiration for a section of the closing ceremony of the Turin Olympics. In this marathon event competitors ski 30km across open terrain to a frozen lake where they cut a hole in the ice with a saw that they have carried with them and try and catch a fish, using a rod that they have also brought with them. Once the fish has been caught and verified as a real fish by the Fish Judge, who returns the fish to the lake of course, the athlete can ski back to the finishing line. No time bonuses are allocated based on the type or size of the fish caught.

The first annual Flin Flon Frozen Fishing contest took place on January, 7th 1943 when eight competitors started out at 6am for the Big Island Lake armed with no more than a backpack containing their saw and fishing rod. The favourites were Marty ‘Blue’ Tonks, a very swift cross-country skier from nearby Creighton, and Al Zigeuner an expert ice fisherman from Channing. This first contest was the most eventful ever and it’s worth describing what happened as all the basic rules of the contest were broken.

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