The greatest annual sporting event ever to occur on earth happened again yesterday: The Gloucester Cheese Roll. Each year thousands of people gather on the outskirts of the English village of Brockworth in Gloucester. Hundreds are there hoping they can win a 7-9lb. wheel of cheese. To win this wheel of cheese they must race from the top of Cooper’s Hill and be the first to cross the finish line at the bottom. That sounds simple enough, except Cooper’s hill is a 200 yard long, 45° concave hill. That means the if you’re standing back a few feet on top of the hill you can’t see the middle because it bends in. If you’re a visual learner, take a look at this photo:
According to the Visit Gloucester website:
“The first written evidence of cheese rolling is found from a message written to the Gloucester town crier in 1826; even then it was apparent the event was an old tradition, and is believed to be at least 600 years old.”
600 years of people getting to the bottom of the hill after being knocked unconscious with concussions, broken wrists, ankles, arms, etc. Imagine having to get your arm or leg fixed in the 1400s because you were chasing a wheel of cheese? That’s life changing back then!
These photos are the perfect record scratch “Yep that’s me flying through the air. I’m sure you’re wondering how I got here.”
The event takes place each year during the Spring Bank Holiday in the UK, which falls on the last Monday of May each year. During the event there are multiple races and a winner is crowned each time whether they’re conscious or not once they reach the bottom of the hill. This year’s women’s race winner was a 19 year old Canadian, Delaney Iriving. She was knocked unconscious by a fall, but her momentum kept her body tumbling down the hill across the finish line. The 2 other winners in 2023’s heats where England’s Matt Crolla and United States’ Cooper Cummings and Japan’s Ryoya Minami. The most wins are held by Chris Anderson with 23 race wins. He’s won multiple races at single event. Which I’m not sure if that is an incredible or idiotic feat of athleticism.
If you find the time, go get lost in a YouTube hole of Gloucester Cheese Roll videos.