Insight & Analysis

Annual cheese-rolling competition attracts thousands!

Published: Jun 2023

People came from all over the world to take part in Gloucestershire’s dangerous annual cheese-rolling competition.

Thousands flocked to the United Kingdom to see Gloucestershire’s annual cheese-rolling competition where contestants chase a 3kg Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill, with the cheese wheels reaching speeds of up to 70mph. To win, you must be the first person in your round to reach the bottom; the prize is your cheese.

This extreme sporting event comes with risks. Police warned about the dangers of the event in the days before and the event was almost cancelled due to concerns of mass casualties. This year the reported casualties included three people being carried off on stretchers over the course of the afternoon.

Officially named Cooper’s Hill Cheese-rolling and wake, the event is organised by a group of volunteers called ‘Team Cheese’. The sporting event has gained international interest, with people coming from all over the world to watch the event – if not bravely taking part.

One winner, Ryoya Minami, came from Japan, stating that “The cheese-rolling in Gloucestershire is famous all over Japan, I came here because I saw my favourite comedian run down the hill – it was a lot of fun.”

Similarly, the winner in the women’s category, Delaney Irving, travelled from Canada. Despite losing consciousness part way through the race and only learning she had won after waking up in the medical tent, Irving said that winning felt great.

Cheese-rolling in Gloucestershire is an old tradition. The first written record of the event is from 1826 and suggests cheese-rolling was already six hundred years old at that time.

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