BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Highland Games' U.S. championship is back in Bethlehem as part of the Celtic Classic. For the athletes who compete, it's equivalent to the Super Bowl.
The 25-pound stones used in the Highland Games were made for throwing. It takes a lot of strength and these guys have it.
Hundreds of years ago Celtic warriors performed these games to prepare for battle.
"So this was their strength training,” said Jayne Ann Recker with the Celtic Cultural Alliance.
The risk isn't as great but the goal is still victory on the field. It's since evolved into sport. The Highland Classic U.S. championship.
“Not understanding what the Highland games is can be a surprise for a lot of people. You know just the level of the athletes that we have on the field,” said competitor Chuck Kasson.
In the middle of the Celtic Classic is the playing fields. Over a two-day period the crowd will watch and scores tallied from nine events including hammer and stone throw and keg toss will help determine who wins the Highland games.
“Some people think picking up a stone is easy. But it takes a lot of training and a lot of work to get to this point.
"It's a lot of strength it's a lot of technique,” said Recker.
Kasson won the games in 2017 and went on to win the world championship a year later. He just like all the others are hoping to score enough points to win it all.
"This particular competition the Celtic classic is basically the Super Bowl of our sport. It's the U.S. championships. It's the highest level of athletes,” he said.