This article was translated by John R. Bopp

It’s called “Levantadores: the Basque Strongmen”, and it’s a production by an American sports gear company called Rogue.  It’s an amazing documentary that introduces herri kirolak, or traditional Basque sports, to the world.

The truth is that it’s wonderful to listen to these gruff men, linked with a millennia-old tradition, explain the roots of a people and its culture so clearly and beautifully.  The almost 100,000 people who have already watched this video since it was made available on December 1 must also have felt the direct connection between these Basque strongmen and their land, history, and culture.

Because it is them, their reflections, their explanations, which guide the viewers to understanding the reasons why, in the 21st century, a Basque would “fight” with a stone, an axe, or a scythe, or why, in this era of technical advancement, a person would choose to face his environment with his bare hands, as his forebears did thousands of years ago.

There’s only one thing we would like to make mention of in this amazing documentary.  The Basque people live “on horseback” at the west end of the Pyrenees, in what is now France and Spain, not just in “the mountains of northern Spain” as one of the protagonists of the documentary explains.

This documentary has been added to a place of honor among the articles about herri kirolak that we’ve collected on the blog.

We found this on Break Parallel, a website dedicated to sports enthusiasts.  We’d also like to point out that these sportsmen are not “day laborers in rural Spain” but rather Basque.  This was again well explained by Iñaki Gorostidi, one of the participants in the documentary: “I say very clearly what I feel: I’m Basque, not Spanish”.

Break parallel – 1/12/2015 – USA

Rogue Fitness Presents: Levantadores – The Basque Strongmen (30min Documentary)

In the mountains of northern Spain, farmers and laypeople have competed in rural Strongman sports for generations. Stone lifting, wood cutting, bale tossing — the sports themselves carried over from years of manual labor, of daily life surviving off the land. LEVANTADORES introduces this rich culture which has helped influence a generation of modern day Strongman who are doing what they can to keep this heritage alive.

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