Inverness Highland Games
The Inverness Highland Games (official name: City of Inverness Highland Games), is a Highland games event in the city of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The modern Games at Inverness have their origin in meetings held in 1821. That year, the Inverness Courier reported that fundraising was taking place in the town by members of the Northern Meeting Society in order to revive the ancient traditions and to bring a Highland games event to the capital of the Highlands. The Games took place in October 1822at the end of a summer which saw numerous Highland Gatherings taking place across Scotland as part of the celebrations that were being held to mark the visit by King George IV. The 1822 Games held in Inverness were called a "True Highland Games" and featured three cows killed by sledgehammer in order for a competition to take place between teams of men to see who could pull a leg off one of the unfortunate animals the fastest and win a prize of five guineas. The 1822 Games also featured an unknown Stonemason pushing a 252-pound weight over a bar suspended 5 feet above the ground; and this unique challenge was revived in 2013.
In 2006 Inverness hosted the Masters World Championships which was being held in Europe for the first time. In 2007 Inverness hosted the World Highland Games Heavy Championshipswhich was being staged on Scottish soil for the first time since it was staged in Kilmarnock in 1995. The World Championship was won by Gregor Edmunds of Scotland with Larry Brock and Ryan Vierra of the USA finishing in second and third positions. In 2009 the Masters World Championships returned to Inverness for the second time and took place the week before "The Gathering" celebrations organised as the centre piece of Scotland's Year of Homecoming.
From 1822 to 1938 the Highland Games staged in Inverness were organised by the members of Northern Meeting.
Northern Meeting Park was the venue for Highland Games organised in Inverness by the Northern Meeting Society from 1864 to 1938. In July 1939 the Northern Meeting Society decided that they wished to stop organising the Games after losing money for nine years. It was agreed that the Inverness Shopkeepers Association would be invited to take over the running of the Games but plans for a September 1939 event was abandoned as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War. The Games were staged in Northern Meeting Park for a final time in 1948 before it was decided that they would be moved to Bught Park. Today the Games are organised by the Highland Council in partnership with a Committee of volunteers. In 2010 the Games returned to the smaller Northern Meeting Park in preparation for celebrations to mark the 150th Anniversary of the World's oldest Highland Games stadium in 2014.
The 2014 celebrations featured the introduction of a Strongman and Strongwoman's event and two Highland Games in the same year for the first time. The regular Games were staged in July and the Masters World Championships were hosted in September. The September Games featured more Heavies than any other Games in history with 157 athletes from 14 countries taking part. The September Games ended with a Guinness World Record for Simultaneous Caber Tossingbeing established with 66 of the 110 Cabers thrown being successfully launched into the air at the same time and turning correctly. The following year a Gala Day was added to the Games weekend programme as the main Games returned down the River Ness to Bught Park where it is now based.
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