Canadian Woman Risks Life for Wheel of Cheese

Delaney Irving does not even remember her big win at Monday's Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling race, because as she crossed the finish line, she was unconscious.

Canadian Woman Risks Life for Wheel of Cheese
Photo:Kin Cheung (AP)

The British event of the year occurred this past Monday, and a new queen (not a sidepiece one this time) has been crowned. Delaney Irving, a 19-year old Canadian woman, won the annual Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling race, though she does not even remember her big win, because as she crossed the finish line, she was unconscious.

“I remember hitting my head, and now I have the cheese,” Irving told ITV News West Country in what may be one of the greatest post-race interview quotes of all time. The Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling race is a centuries-old event wherein contestants chase—or rather, aggressively tumble—after a wheel of Double Gloucester Cheese. Whoever finishes first behind the cheese wins the big prize, which is, again, the cheese itself. A quick look through shopping tab on a Google search for “Double Gloucester Cheese” leads me to estimate a wheel that heavy is worth about $200. The course is about 180m (or 590ft for the Yankees reading this), and the hotly pursued cheese can reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour. Cheese on the loose!

Since the hill is so steep, the cheese so fast, and life so fleeting, etc., contestants basically just flop down the course like boneless rag dolls. Of course, they do have bones, and it isn’t uncommon for those to break or sprain.

“I said, ‘Go to the hospital. And I love you. And you’re crazy. And I love you,’” Krista Endrizzi, Irving’s mother recalled telling her daughter. Luckily, Irving seems to be OK. I mean, she may be mentally unwell in the sense that she’s willingly concussed herself over cheese, but who am I to disparage someone putting their body at harm over a good gouda? I can confidently say that half of my friends put their bodies in grave danger by eating cheese almost weekly.

I am one of the blessed individuals lucky enough to have an iron stomach, but rarely do I experience a girls’ night out where a peer does not say “fuck it” and throwback a Lactaste tablet before devouring mozz sticks. So I commend Delaney Irving. I hope her head is okay. but more importantly, I hope that cheese tastes good.

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