Whistler, B.C. – Cheese lovers got together in late July not to sample cheese but to roll wheels of cheese.
The 165 competitors were taking part in the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s annual Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival. It’s a competition where 11-pound wheels of cheese are rolled down a steep hill, before the participants are let loose. Then the aim is to try to catch them before they reach the bottom.
The male Grand Champion, Guy McLintock of Vancouver, won the men’s race in a time of nine seconds, and the female Grand Champion, Lorraine Phan of Richmond, B.C., won the women’s race in a time of 19 seconds. In addition to the men’s and women’s races, 139 children participated in uphill races.
The two grand champions won an 11-pound wheel of cheese and a Whistler season’s ski pass for two.
For the fourth consecutive year, Canadian cheese maker Natural Pastures produced the special 11-pound wheels of delicious Cracked Pepper Verdelait cheese for the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival.
In addition to the races, more than 12,500 spectators participated in other activities, including cheese Twister, free cheese seminars and a Cheese Market full of samples of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk.
According to CheeseRolling.co.uk, the event originated in the U.K. Some sources say it began more than 200 years ago. But many others claim it could be a pagan healing ritual.
Watch a video of the competition: