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Great Scots!

Contest confirms, once again, that if it's not Scottish, it's crap.

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Leave it to the Scots to one-up other strongman competitions at today’s Ohio Scottish Games. As Sean Connery has proven throughout his career, those from the land of bagpipes are born hard-asses. You won’t see any tights-wearing musclemen bench-pressing barbells at today’s 30th-annual outing. Instead, look for kilt-clad competitors tossing telephone poles in the air. “Scots are feisty by nature,” says contestant Douglas Steiger, a North Royalton firefighter. “Everybody tries to judge strength by what you bench-press. That’s not an exercise that does much at the Scottish games.”

Today’s contests include sheaf-tossing, hammer-throwing, and shot-putting with stones. It all leads to the crowd-pleasing caber toss, in which competitors hurl enormous wooden poles end-over-end. Steiger finished third at the 2001 World Caber Championships in Scotland. He’s looking forward to today’s heated competition . . . and camaraderie. “The Scots aren’t typically a brooding type,” he says. “They’re not one to shy away from a fight, but in the same sense, they’re very hospitable people too. They’ll take you into their house and treat you very well.”
Sat., June 23, 8 a.m.

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