NEW YORK – When you see Adrian Flygt for the first time, you don’t feel like this is a man who should ever be overwhelmed. The imposingly tall, bearded man with the booming voice commands the room – even if the room is technically a park – and his presence practically screams lumberjack. That said, this was a 6-foot-4, 270-pound lumberjack in New York City, and this city has a way of overwhelming just about anyone who isn’t prepared for it.
So as Flygt entered the taxi queue outside the airport, he was out of his element. But as an on-air personality for the Stihl Timbersports series, he wasn’t afraid to ask questions. And a simple “this is the cab line, not a line for some sort of boat or bus?” question did just fine, although it drew the obligatory “You’re not from around here, are you?” response. When he was finally ushered through, he found a driver willing to break all sorts of land-speed records to get him to his hotel in Manhattan.
While Flygt still reeled from the terrifying ride — a quick-dunk baptism into New York if there ever was one — the driver nodded, motioned toward the door and told him, “Have a great trip.”
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the series upped the ante and brought the championship to Central Park. That meant big men packing cars and driving across the country with hundreds of pounds of gear to compete in a sport that typically feels more at home in a place like Wisconsin or North Carolina, where lumber is a way of life.
“Once we get everybody in here then we’re going to have a wood-chopping event,” Timbersports executive producer Brad Sorgen said June 19, the day before the event. “The challenge is the simple aspects. You’ve got guys that are from Virginia and Minnesota. Pretty small towns, in rural logging communities, and they’re coming here to compete. They’re used to driving right up, unloading their stuff and having an event. We’ve got to get guys who have never been outside their home town into Central Park.”