2018 Highland Games Report

The 2018 Inverness Highland Games Weekend  started with the Inverness Wheelbarrow Grand Prix on Friday evening in the High Street; where an estimated 2000 spectators gathered to enjoy performances  by the City of Inverness Pipe Band; Fraser School of Highland Dancing the Inverness Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Association. before parading across Ness Bridge to Northern Meeting Park to enjoy the 2018 Highlands Strongest Man and Strongest Woman Championships organised by the Forge Gym. Despite the torrential rain, the crowd where treated to a really exciting evening of intense competition. Nicki Innes won the Strongest Woman's title and Jamie Gorrian was victorious in the men's event.

For many spectators, the Heavy events at the Inverness Highland Games are one of the highlights of their trip to Scotland; and a huge crowd estimated to be in the region of 9000 arrived to enjoy the show. After a day of wonderful competition Jamie Gunn was crowned Champion after being pushed all day by US Athlete John Odden of the USA.

Throughout the day the crowd were entertained by film crews behind the US  Discovery Channel's "Expedition Unknown" and the Italian TV Show "The Alternative Olympics" as their presenters Josh Gates and Matteo Nicoletta enjoyed a crash course in becoming a Highland Heavy with Nicoletta managing to win a medal from Provost Helen Carmichael for being the worst dancer in the history of the Opening Ceremony's Mass Highland Fling after a review by the Video Referee that the Highland Games Committee assured him was in operation. The Opening Ceremony’s Mass Highland Fling featured over 400 participants and was the largest in ever seen at the Games; and featured a number of locals who were taking part to raise funds for 3 year old Sam Douglas who requires specialist medical care.

The biggest addition to the 2018 programme was the “Show and Shine Inverness” car show organised by 2K Custom which featured over 100 cars and attracted hundreds of additional spectators to Bught Park. Also new for 2018 was the introduction a series of races for the Under 5’s scheduled to take place at around 12:30; and one of the loudest cheers of the day went to a wee fellow who decided to keep on running after winning the 400m race and was too quick for the adults who were chasing after to him to let him know that he should stop.

Games Chieftain Provost Helen Carmichael said “Our Games Weekend  has been a great success thanks to the tremendous support that we have received from all sections of our community in the months leading up to the show. We have been delighted to welcome visitors from all over the world and once again our Games has delivered a much appreciated and significant boost to our city’s profile and economy.”

 

See you on 20th July 2019!

Gerry Reynolds MSc
Inverness Events Manager
The Highland Council