Posted at: 07/03/2013 4:46 PM
Updated at: 07/03/2013 5:38 PM
WDIO Photographer Kyle Aune captured the annual border battle between the United States and Canada. More specifically, a battle between International Falls and Fort Frances.
It draws hundreds and, over the years, thousands to take a hand in the Great Pull. It is fun, and serious. "We expect to take that trophy back today," said International Falls City Councilor Cynthia Jaksa.
In the moments before the grunting and groaning began, she said the trophy needed to be returned to what she sees as its rightful place. "It's been over there on the Canadian side for three years in a row."
Those showing up to pull their hearts out include former Vikings players, professional fighters, and local lawmakers. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, showed up to cheer on the U.S. and also play diplomat. "Canada is our best ally, our best partner. We do so much together."
Those showing up ranged from veterans to high school cheerleaders in uniform.
Jaksa said pullers from both banks of the Rainy River were doing their own special kind of training. "Well, we've been training our people, been pulling stumps and eating lutefisk. But, I understand they've been drinking maple syrup and that kind of thing. So, it's going to be a tough battle."
And so it was. In the end, it was a clean sweep for the U.S., winning all three pulls.
Let next year's training begin!