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Nanaimo woman, 19, wins U.K. cheese wheel race while unconscious


A young B.C. woman has quite the story to tell, or at least the parts she can remember, after winning a cheese wheel race in England, even after being knocked unconscious.

Nineteen-year-old Delaney Irving, from Nanaimo, was in Gloucestershire, England, on Monday wrapping up a six-week trip in Europe with her friend.

She was in the region to watch the annual Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling race, before deciding to join in the extreme race with her friend just one day before it was set to begin.

"We didn't really prepare for it at all," Irving told CTV News on Tuesday.

"All we did to prepare was, my friend and I took turns jumping on our hotel bed and doing a roll as best as we could."

Participants in the race are tasked with chasing a seven-pound wheel of double Gloucester cheese down an extremely steep hill.

The race itself has sometimes been the target of controversy due to safety concerns.

"Videos don't really show how steep it is," said Irving.

"When you're standing at the top, you have to get right to the edge to actually see the hill," she said. "If you're a few steps back you can't actually see the hill, that's how steep it is."

Participants compete in the women's downhill race during the Cheese Rolling contest at Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, Monday May 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)Video shows the moments that Irving, after losing her footing, tumbles down the hill. She's' the first one to cross the finish line, though she's limp as a ragdoll after hitting her head on the ground and being knocked unconscious part way down the hill.

"I don't remember much of the start of the race to be honest," she said. "Right away I started falling and so I decided to roll, and I think I rolled most of the way down."

"After that I was knocked unconscious," said Iriving. "I was out of it when I went past the finish line. I didn't come to for about 10 minutes."

The next thing the teen remembers is waking up in a medical tent with "cheese on my lap."

Irving's mother, Krista Endrizzi, says she knew her daughter was going to watch the cheese rolling race, but didn't think she was participating.

"[I was told] after the fact," said Endrizzi. "After she Skyped me at five in the morning to tell me and show me the cheese."

Endrizzi says the video is a bit disturbing to her, and she's glad her daughter is alright.

"I can't believe she's OK," she said. "She had a CT scan. It's clear and she's good. I can't believe that, because it looks like she shouldn't be OK."

Irving is the first Canadian woman to win a Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling race, and her victory has already made waves with local U.K. media.

The seven-pound wheel of cheese is estimated to be worth hundreds of dollars.

"I like cheese. I'm not a huge fan of cheese, but I will definitely eat this cheese," said Irving.

She says she plans to have friends and family over to help her eat the massive cheese wheel. Even then, she expects there to be leftovers. Top Stories

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