Cheese Rolling: The World’s Weirdest, Most Dangerous, and Tastiest “Sport”

Round+block+of+cheese

via pixabay

Round block of cheese

Sports such as baseball, football, and other classics have been around for hundreds of years, with generally agreed-on rules. But no one has stopped to think about how crazy it is that these sports exist. You can win millions of dollars in sponsorships if you are good at throwing a ball into a hoop and dodging people. The same applies if you are good at catching and hitting with a bat. But what about rolling a gigantic wheel of cheese down a hill? It may sound ridiculous, but some people believe it to be a real sport.

 

Now, Cheese Rolling does have its differences from others, in that there are no professional leagues, no training for it, and it only happens once a year at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire, England. However, when it does come around, people hop all over it. According to The Guardian, people from all over the world came to participate. In Cheese Rolling, competitors roll a 7-9 pound round of cheese down a hill, almost like bowling. After waiting one second, they try to run faster than the cheese down the hill, catching it before reaching the bottom. The first person to have cheese in hand at the finish line wins. The craziest part is that winning the Cheese Rolling competition doesn’t award much real money. All they win is the round of cheese that they rolled down the hill, which could easily be bought in a store for $20-30 dollars. However, this does not mean that people don’t try. In fact, people will risk themselves just for a chance to win the cheese.

 

Speaking of injuries, dozens have happened in the sport. People will jump after the rolling cheese and slide down the hill harshly, breaking bones. They could also get hit by someone else’s cheese, trip, fall, and hurt vital organs. Even though nobody has died due to the sport, many have been sent to the hospital. It got so serious in 2013 in some of the final rounds the cheese had to be replaced with foam to stop more injuries from occurring. A first-aid service is available at all times at the bottom of the hill if you are hurt, and overall it seems incredibly dangerous to do. So if you are risking your life every year and all that’s attained for it is cheese, then why bother?

 

  Mainly, it’s due to tradition and fun. The sport, like any other sport, is great fun. It is delightful to see you and other competitors tumbling down a hill like a kid. Nobody cares about winning the cheese, but it’s a whole lot more exciting just to play! And as a bonus, if you do win, your name goes down in the cheese rolling history books, making you a mini-celebrity in the town. Everyone doing the sport knows what they are getting into and can be seen with a smile on their faces. It has also been around for so long that people just can’t stop. Even though there have been many attempts to shut it down, like in 2009 due to health concerns, the tradition always comes back and has been rumored to have been around for 600 years, with the first recorded event being in 1882. The town has multiple locations and restaurants named after the event, and it has become as much of a tradition for them as American Football for the USA. So even though it has unfortunately been closed in 2020 and 2021 due to covid, and it is questionable whether or not it counts as a sport, it can only be prayed that 2022 will bring good fortune and the tradition can carry on.