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Delta throwback: Tug-of-war team treated in 'ungentlemanly manner'

The Ladner team was frustrated with the excuses and delays
The Ladner team members felt they were superior to the Nanaimo squad and that the Nanaimo team knew it.

Let’s head way back to the February 1902 pages of the Delta News where an article reported that Ladner’s tug-of-war team was none to happy with their Nanaimo rivals delaying an anticipated match.

The Ladner boys were talking of challenging the Nanaimo tug-of-war team to pull off their postponed contest and changing their wager from $50 to $100 per man.

“The boys are rather dissatisfied at the treatment accorded them by the opposition team. They believe also that the team here is in every respect superior to the Nanaimo team, and that the Nanaimos are perfectly aware of this fact, consequently the excuses and delays that have taken place,” the article reads.

“Ladner believes that they have been dealt with a very ungentlemanly manner, thus the talk of the present challenge.”

Over a century later, it’s not clear if that match took place or who was victorious, but prior and in the subsequent years, the Ladner team on several occasions was the BC champion in the sport.

Tug-of-war was also part of the Olympic Games from 1900 until 1920 but hasn’t been in the Games since. The sport was pulled from the Olympics after a series of heated controversies.