Finally. The season started! I could watch the Herznach stone throwing team — here L to R, Marco Leimgruber, Gian Waelchi, Simon Hunziker and Roger Leimgruber — in action.
Off I went on the first Sunday in May to my first-ever Schwingfest, this one in central Switzerland.
A strong showing it was: in the 20 kilogram (kg) competition, Herznach placed 1st (Simon), 2nd (Roger), 3rd (Gian) and 6th (Marco). Simon also won the 48kg toss (followed by Roger in 4th, Gian in 6th and Marco in 7th).
I am certainly happy to be one of the team’s fans, which makes it fun and a more full experience. I appreciate discovering this long-held tradition through people who love it, one step (er, throw!) at a time. There’s a professionalism that I genuinely admire in the Herznach team — for a sport that so many of my friends know “of,” yet not “about.”
I will get better images the next time, now that I know what to expect. It was surely an eight-hour outdoor day that separated true “Schwinger / Steinstossen” fans from the fair-weather types. This video shows my authentic introduction with the images I managed to capture — and those first simple moments can sometimes be the ones I remember best.