Servicemembers show off strength during Scottish games on Okinawa

By JESSICA BIDWELL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 20, 2017

OKINAWA, Japan — Gaelic revelry flooded an Okinawa beach over the weekend during the inaugural Torii Station Highland Games.

The Morale, Welfare and Recreation-hosted event featured Celtic cultural staples such as Scotch eggs, bagpipe music and unorthodox athletic competitions featuring kilt-wearing servicemembers and civilians.

Events included the shot put-like stone put, hammer throw and caber toss, in which competitors flip a long, tapered pole.

Army veteran Aaron Rennie came up with the idea for bringing the games to Okinawa, but credited MWR with organizing the event.

“What a great turnout,” he said, as festivities went on nearby. “A lot of these guys are first-timers, some civilians, but most are military.”

Competition was fierce and involved some impressive displays of brute strength.

“Camaraderie. That’s what motivated me [to attend the event],” said competitor Lauryn Burleson. “I wasn’t into it at first, but today has surpassed my expectations.”


A competitor prepares for the stone put event during the Torii Station Highland Games in Okinawa, Japan, Saturday, March 18, 2017.


comments Join the conversation and share your voice!  

from around the web