The Darwin Awards

2000 At-Risk Survivor

Next Prev Random At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

Cheez Whiz
2000 At-Risk Survivor
Confirmed True by Darwin

(22 May 2000, England) Every year Britons chase Double Gloucester cheese wheels down Cooper's Hill in an astoundingly bizarre and unexpectedly dangerous competition. Several seven-pound cheeses are hurled down the hill, and dozens of contestants take off in pursuit. If they catch a cheese they get to keep it.

But Cooper's Hill is so steep that the cheese chasers invariably tumble as far as they run. This year was no exception. Winner Craig Carter broke his arm, yet managed to smile triumphantly while confessing that he had broken his other arm in his winning dash several years ago.

At least eighteen people were injured, including a spectator who tried to dodge a bouncing cheese. He was hospitalized for a head injury after a 100-foot tumble down the steep slope.

Despite its bloody track record, the Gloucestershire tradition has continued for hundreds of years, and contestants show no signs of slowing down. Therefore they earn an At-Risk Survivor, and we fondly anticipate a cheese-chasing Darwin Award nominee in the near future.

Cheese Rolling in Action (QuickTime Movie)

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Submitted by: fish
Reference: Cable News Network, Reuters

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Andrew Healing adds, "Have you heard of the burning barrel tradition in Ottery St.Mary, Devon, England? In late October teams running through the town carrying burning barrels on their shoulders. Carrying a burning barrel is dangerous, but so is gawking. Onlookers have being burnt, trampled and pushed through shop windows trying to get away from the bloke with the burning barrel."

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