Canadian woman tumbles to win at Gloucester Cheese Rolling race after getting knocked unconscious

Canadian woman tumbles to win at Gloucester Cheese Rolling race after getting knocked unconscious

A Canadian teen who was knocked unconscious during a violent downhill tumble at the annual Cheese Rolling races near Gloucester, England, awoke to find she had won the event.

vancouver island resident Delaney Irving, 19, took a nasty tumble down the steep 200-metre slope at Cooper’s Hill, near Brockworth, Gloucestershire, during the world-famous Cheese Rolling races. Since 1826, competitors have lined up atop the hill on the last Monday of May to chase a 3-kg cheese wheel—said to reach speeds of 100 km/h—in a frenzied free-for-all to the bottom.

Video posted online Monday shows Irving losing control in the mad dash down the hill and being tossed around like a ragdoll.

She told the BBC that she learned that she had won her event only after regaining consciousness in a medical tent.

“I remember hitting my head, I remember it hurting, and then I remember waking up in the tent,” said Irving, one of hundreds of competitors at this year’s race. “I still don’t really believe it, but it feels great,” she said.

Irving’s was one of several races held at Cooper’s Hill on Monday. The winner of the first race, 28-year-old Matt Crolla of Manchester, was asked about his training regimen for the race. “I don’t think you can train for it, can you?” he said. “It’s just being an idiot.”

The race is infamous for leaving many of its competitors battered and bruised in their chase for the cheese. Safety concerns prompted the cancellation of the races in 2010, but the event has continued without official sanction since then.

Chris Anderson of Gloucester, who dominated the Cheese Rolling races with 23 wins over 15 years, suffered several injuries, including a concussion, bruised kidneys and a broken ankle during his career at Cooper’s Hill. The new father told the CBC last year that he was retiring from the event as he was “lucky to get away over the years without really hurting” himself. That retirement proved to be shortlived, however, as he returned this year to finish second in one of the races.

This isn’t the first year a Canadian has tasted glory at the Cheese Rolling races. Mark Kit of Toronto, who was inspired to enter the event after watching videos of the Cheese Rolling races as a child, won the final race in the 2019 competition at age 21.

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