Posted, Thursday, August 28, 2014 --- 3:53 p.m.
15 different countries are represented at Olin park in Madison ready to tug it out for gold. It's the world championships for tug of war.
"It's always been a dream of mine to come to Madison because number one the hospitality number two the venues, we have the hotels really close and it's close to home," say Shelby Richardson.
Shelby Richardson lives in Oregon but is known nationally as the US amateur tug of war president.
"I'm hoping it doesn't rain I tell everybody it never rains in Shelby's parade so it will be good."
She says with three clubs in the area, Madison couldn't have been a better pick for the world championships. But it wasn't a hop skip and a jump for most competitors.
"24 hour flight if you count all the hours an then 2.5 hour drive from Chicago, so we were kind of tired when we came here," says Betrus Fourie.
Betrus Fourie is with his team from South Africa. He says they wasted little time enjoying all Wisconsin has to offer.
"Yes, I had a lot of beer!"
He says he found tug of war after a rugby injury threatened to paralyze him. Using the sport to strengthen his back muscles day by day.
"Through tug of war I found my life, and that's why I can never stop."
And it's the competitive atmosphere that keeps him going.
Now admission is free and they'll be tugging all weekend at Olin park