A while back, I wrote about a crazy sport called “wife carrying” in Finland so it should come as no surprise that since their neighbours the Estonians are the world champions at “wife carrying” that they are a nation that enjoys unusual sports.    Now we have all played on a swing and have taken it to a height where the chain loosens and your heart races wondering what it would take to go right over!!! Well the Estonians who play on wooden communal swings as a national pastime,  the thought of going over the spindle appeared easier, because the swing is attached to rigid poles.   So in 1993 Ado Kosk, designed a swing that could pivot a complete 360°.  What everyone thought would be easy to do, actually appeared much harder than they thought and the longer the arms of the swing the harder it was to go over and so the sport of Kiiking was invented.  As they say in Estonian, Kiiking is when your feet are above your head the rest we call swinging!   Now you may still think this is child’s play but the Guinness Book of records stands at 7.38 m which means that as he is at the top his feet would be 14.76 m ….plus a little clearance above the ground.

Now if some of you are wondering where is “Estonia”…. well, it is new country having becoming independent in 1991.  They are a low lying country and with the highest peak at 314 m, they are also one of the greenest countries in Europe with 50% of the country covered in forest.  They border with Russia and Finland in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea with 3794 km of coastline with approximately 2220 islands.   The capital city, Tallinn,  is one of the best preserved old cities in the world.  They invented Skype!  Have to wear compulsory reflectors (but that is a story for another day).  Estonians are also a rather reserved introverted nation that comes to life when they see a swing!