The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling, in Gloucestershire, UK, is an unusual—and surprisingly dangerous—annual athletic challenge.
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In the rolling countryside near Gloucester, England, stands the now-famous Cooper’s Hill. One day each spring, people send large wheels of artisanal Double Gloucester cheese down the hill at speeds up to about 70 miles per hour. Chasing each wheel is a pack of contestants. Some of them roll, while others just fall over. Long a contained, local affair, over time the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake (meaning festival) started drawing international crowds to watch or compete in this seriously risky game. In the May 2018 event, Chris “King of the Hill” Anderson set the all-time record, with a career total of 22 cheese wheels. Ending the day without mishaps, although the longtime cheese racer has been injured in past years. And Flo Early, winner of the 2018 women’s competition, did dislocate her shoulder. No longer officially supported because of increased crowds, the cheese race continues on its own momentum.
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Watch a Downhill Cheese-Chasing Competition in Britain | National Geographic