American woman WINS UK cheese rolling championships after travelling 4,000 miles to take part
An American woman traveled more than 4,000 miles to the UK to compete and WIN the 2022 Cheese Rolling Championship.
Abby Lampe, 21, took the women’s title, falling in just 15 seconds from Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire.
She planned a summer vacation to Europe from her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, to coincide with the iconic dairy event.
Each year, dozens of fanatics gather on the grassy knoll to chase a four-pound Double Gloucester wheel down a steep 200-foot-long hill.
The 21-year-old said she first heard about the 196-year-old extreme sport a few years ago.
Abby Lampe, 21, originally from North Carolina, took the women’s title, falling in just 15 seconds from Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire.
The 21-year-old said she first heard about the 196-year-old extreme sport a few years ago and decided to sign up. She hoped to win but wasn’t sure she would
Abby said, “I heard about this cheese rolling through YouTube and word of mouth.
“It’s very obscure and random, but it’s really interesting.
My friends and I joked that I was doing it because I was going to Europe this summer anyway.
“I booked my tickets and made sure I would be in the UK for the race. Then I started practicing.’
The American student launched into the race down Coopers Hill two weeks ago and took the title
An ecstatic Abby showed off her cheese after she won the race. She revealed she practiced for the tumble and combed through footage from preview races before competing
Fiercely competitive Abby, who just graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering, spent hours practicing rolling down hills.
She also spent endless evenings sifting through footage from previous years’ races on the internet, studying the stance, footwork and rolling ability of the other cheese-loving athlete.
Abby also stocked up on protective gear, swapping out swimsuits and sun hats intended for her hot European summer vacation for shin guards and soccer socks.
But the preparation didn’t stop there – once on English soil, Abby red-handed walked to Coopers Hill and recorded the course, taking notes on her preferred route.
A wheel winner! Abby has sent the cheese to the US so she can eat it with her family when she is done with her travels
Abby admitted she said a little prayer the night before the race. She also revealed that she was a competitive person and went to check out the hill to see how steep it is before taking part
She said, “I scanned the hill to see how steep it was and how to get down.
‘I am very competitive. I also play football, volleyball, basketball and cross country.
‘I want to be very well prepared for everything I do match-wise.’
The night before the race, Abby picked herself up from watching an episode of Netflix’s We Are The Champions devoted to the cheese-hunting sport.
She said, “I went in hoping to win it. I didn’t know I was going to go because I had no idea what the match would be like, but I was hopeful.
“I said a little prayer before.
“After the race it just felt great. I remember being stopped by the rugby players after the last few throws, I looked at them and just said, “Did I win?”.
‘Then the person brought out the cheese – it was almost like a dream.
“It felt like I was in a movie. I had no idea that I would actually win this and hold the cheese.
“I put it over my head and started jumping because I was so ecstatic.”
Abby beat the other entrants in the women’s race with an impressive time of just 15 seconds to rush down the hill.
But amazingly, she still hasn’t tasted her prize – she mailed it back to her parents in the United States to enjoy as a family when she returns to start her new job as a technical consultant in a few months.
She said, “I wanted to open it with my family — we’ve always loved cheese growing up and we have our charcuterie platters and a little happy hour with cheese and wine, so I thought that would be great.”
And the North Carolina native is even thinking about taking the sport home.
She said, “I don’t know where we would do that, although it would be nice.
“I feel like it’s such a uniquely British thing, so I wouldn’t want to take it away from England.”