"Schwingen" is a kind of wrestling native to Switzerland. In the course of time this game has become a sport of national importance and it is today followed by a large public.
Wrestling is a duel between two strengthen men. The two opponents have to make their way to a sawdust-covered ring. During the fight, the two wrestlers are dressed uniformly. The wrestlers wear special wrestling shorts over their trousers. Each match begins and ends with a handshake. Before the duel begins, each wrestler grabs the back of his opponent’s belt, only loosening his grip once the match is over. The winner is the wrestler who manages to throw his opponent down so that both shoulder blades and back are completely touching the ground. The rules also dictate that the winner must always brush the sawdust from the loser’s back.
The best wrestlers are often considered as “bad guys”. Usually they confront each other in wrestling tournaments and every three years one of them is elected as the king of wrestling during the Swiss wrestling and alpine games festival. However, the winners do not receive money for their victory but cow bells (Treicheln), or often as a main price a bull (Muni). The wrestling kings are famous and respected as public figures in the entire Switzerland.
Even if the wrestling is considered as a modern sport, its origins are very old. Numerous customs and traditions are associated with wrestling and its tournaments. Wrestling is simply an ideal combination between tradition, sport and progress.