Santas get physical at World Santa Claus Congress

By the Associated Press | July 20, 2011 | 9:00 AM EDT

A Santa bathes his feet during the World Santa Claus Congress in front of the Little Mermaid statue in the harbour of Copenhagen, on Monday, July 18, 2011. The World Santa Claus Congress has taken place in the Dyrehavsbakken amusement park (usually shortened to Bakken) north of Copenhagen since 1957. (AP Photo/POLFOTO, Joachim Adrian) DENMARK OUT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Olympics have pentathlons — and so does the World Santa Congress, sort of.

Santas from all over the world lugged their overweight waistlines to this year's 54th World Santa Claus Congress, throwing sacks of presents and firing canon balls in a new physical fitness contest.

The five-discipline event is the latest addition to the three-day conference at the world's oldest amusement park: Bakken, just outside the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

Two teams of St. Nicks — one from Denmark and the other from the United States, Sweden, Russia, Germany and other countries — competed Wednesday for the coveted trophy of Best Santa Team.

The Danish Santas won.

Aside from throwing presents, they also had to master a Christmas obstacle course, ride bumper cars and compete in a horse race game.