In a Nutshell:
- Joasia Zakrzewski, an accomplished ultramarathon runner from Australia, was stripped of her bronze medal and trophy won in a recent 50-mile race after organizers learned that she had used a car for a portion of the course.
- After analyzing GPX data, race organizers concluded that Zakrzewski had reached a speed of 35mph (56km/h) during a short section of the race, which made her faster than Usain Bolt, the fastest human in history.
- Zakrzewski admitted to making a mistake by accepting the bronze medal and trophy for finishing third, as well as smiling for photos as if nothing had happened, but she claimed that she wasn’t thinking clearly at the time, because she was tired and unwell.
Cheating scandals in sports are nothing new, but the latest case involving accomplished ultramarathon runner Joasia Zakrzewski has raised eyebrows in the running community.
The Australian athlete was recently stripped of her bronze medal and trophy for finishing third in a 50-mile race, after organizers discovered that she had used a car to cover part of the course.
Joasia Zakrzewski, a renowned ultramarathon runner from Australia, has been stripped of her bronze medal and trophy after it was revealed that she used a car to complete a portion of a recent 50-mile race.
The GB Ultras 50-mile (80km) race from Manchester to Liverpool on April 7 saw Zakrzewski finishing third, but her victory was short-lived after race organizers discovered that she had ridden in a car for a short section of the race, making her faster than Usain Bolt, the fastest human in history.
Zakrzewski had flown in from Australia the night before the race and was feeling unwell and jet-lagged. After reaching the halfway mark, she began experiencing serious leg pain and decided to quit the ultramarathon.
It was at this point that she accepted a ride in a friend’s car to inform the race staff that she was dropping out. However, upon arriving at the checkpoint, she was convinced to carry on in a non-competitive manner.
“When I got to the checkpoint I told them I was pulling out and that I had been in the car, and they said ‘you will hate yourself if you stop’,” Zakrzewski told BBC Scotland.
“I agreed to carry on in a non-competitive way. I made sure I didn’t overtake the runner in front when I saw her as I didn’t want to interfere with her race.”
Even though she agreed to carry on in a non-competitive way, Zakrzewski was disqualified and stripped of her medal and trophy after organizers analyzed her GPX data and interrogated race staff, witnesses, and the runner herself.
She had ridden in the car for about 2.5 miles and had posed for photos as if nothing had happened. She has since returned the medal and trophy and apologized to the runner whose place she claimed.
“Great news for me but really bad news for sportsmanship,” said Mel Sykes, who received Zakrzewski’s medal.
“The below happened because a fellow competitor cheated. After an investigation, she has now been DQ’d, and rightly so. How can someone who knows they have cheated cross a finish line, collect a medal/trophy, and have their photos taken!”
This is not the first time such a bizarre cheating scandal has happened in the running scene.
In 2015, a man was accused of running only the last half-mile of a 26-mile race to claim a $7,000 prize, while in 2018, experienced ultramarathon runner Kelly Agnew was accused of winning races by hiding in portable toilets.
Source: Oddity Central
Conor McGregor Accidentally KO’s Miami Heat Mascot in Skit Gone Wrong [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- Ex-UFC champion Conor McGregor participated in an unexpected boxing stunt with Miami Heat’s mascot, Burnie, during a promotional event in the middle of an NBA Finals game.
- McGregor knocked down Burnie with a left hook, leading to the mascot requiring medical attention and pain medication. The identity of the man inside the mascot suit has not been revealed.
- McGregor was at the game to promote a pain-relief spray, and his antic of punching the mascot and then attempting to ‘heal’ him with the spray drew boos from the crowd.
The arena buzzed with excitement during the third-quarter stoppage of Game 4 of the NBA Finals, but not for the usual reasons.
It wasn’t a slam dunk, a three-pointer, or even a dramatic foul that had the crowd gasping – it was the sight of ex-UFC champion Conor McGregor, landing a left hook on Burnie, the Miami Heat’s lovable mascot.
The flame-faced mascot found himself in an unexpected ring match during a promotional skit that took a wrong turn.
Burnie, donned in oversized boxing gloves and a robe reminiscent of a fighter’s pre-match ensemble, received a one-two combo from McGregor that would make an experienced UFC fighter grimace.
After McGregor landed a left hook that knocked Burnie to the floor, he delivered another punch for good measure.
It’s the kind of dramatic scene you’d expect in a UFC octagon, but not the hardwood court of an NBA game.
The crowd response was a medley of boos and gasps even before the bizarre bit started.
McGregor, who was at the game to promote a pain-relief spray, had already piqued the crowd’s ire before his ill-advised spar with the mascot.
Once the mascot was down, McGregor attempted to ‘heal’ the damage done by spraying the pain-relief product on Burnie.
Meanwhile, members of the Heat’s in-game promotional team had the unexpected task of dragging the battered Burnie off the court.
The man inside Burnie’s costume, whose identity was not revealed, had to seek medical attention following the unexpected showdown.
The Heat confirmed on Saturday that he was recuperating at home, aided by pain medication.
As for McGregor, this stunt marks another bizarre event in a rather quiet period of his career.
He hasn’t stepped into the octagon since injuring his left leg during a match against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021.
His last victory dates back to January 2020.
Whether this outlandish display was a call for attention or just an ill-conceived gimmick, one thing’s for sure: Burnie might think twice before squaring up with another fighter.
Canadian Woman Wins Annual Cheese-Rolling Race While Unconscious [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- Delaney Irving, a 19-year-old Canadian, has won the notoriously dangerous Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Race in the United Kingdom, a victory she only realized after waking up from unconsciousness in a medical tent.
- The event, a peculiar annual spectacle dating back 600 years, involves participants from across the globe who race down a steep 180-meter hill in pursuit of a wheel of Gloucester cheese that can reach speeds of up to 70 mph.
- Despite significant safety concerns due to the event’s hazardous nature, the thrill of the chase and love for cheese continues to attract and amuse participants such as Manchester resident Matt Crolla, Japanese cheese lover Ryoya Minami, and Washington’s Cooper Cummings.
In a plot twist as unexpected as cheese curds in a poutine, a courageous 19-year-old Canadian, Delaney Irving, skated to victory in the UK’s annual cheese-rolling race.
Irving’s win was anything but ordinary; the trophy was a 7lb wheel of Gloucester cheese, and the competition so fierce, she had a blackout to prove it.
After a harsh trip and tumble that left her temporarily knocked out, our heroine woke up in a medical tent, realizing that she’d wheeled herself into history.
“I still don’t really believe it, but it feels great,” she modestly confessed to the BBC.
The only thing sharper than her tumble, it seems, was her rise to victory.
The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Race, a spectacle as intriguing as a mystery cheeseboard, is held annually in Gloucester, England.
It involves thrill-seekers chasing a wheel of cheese down a perilously steep 180-meter hill.
And it’s not just any slow roll: the cheese reaches speeds of up to 70 mph, adding a level of danger that’d make even a hard Parmesan crack.
The event, purportedly running annually for approximately 600 years, is known for drawing daredevils from around the globe.
With its steep hill and wild wheel of cheese, the event, which is more peculiar than blue cheese in a dessert, only seems to grow in its appeal with each passing year.
But Irving’s quick victory wasn’t as smooth as cream cheese.
Viral video footage shows her smacking her head before she tumbled across the finish line.
“I remember running, then bumping my head, and then I woke up in the tent,” she recounted.
Cooper’s Hill, with its perilous slope, ensures that the cheese-rolling race has seen more participants in medical tents than an average sporting event.
Yet, it appears that danger doesn’t deter thrill-seekers and cheese enthusiasts from partaking in this annual spectacle.
Take for example, Matt Crolla, a Manchester resident, who won one of the races and conceded that participating was about “being an idiot.”
Then there’s Ryoya Minami, a dedicated cheese aficionado who traveled all the way from Japan.
When questioned about his motivation, Minami was succinct: “I love cheese.”
And let’s not forget Cooper Cummings, who journeyed from Washington, but didn’t manage to nab a wheel of cheese.
He maintained that “it was worth it simply to see the strange yearly ritual take place.”
So if you were ever curious about how much someone might risk for cheese, these brave, albeit slightly unhinged individuals have your answer: ‘everything’.
No pain, no gain, no glory, and indeed, no cheese!
Fowl Ball: MLB Pitcher Accidentally Hits Bird with a Pitch [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen accidentally killed a bird with a baseball during his warm-up before a game against the Oakland Athletics. This incident was captured on video.
- In a similar incident over 20 years ago, Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson killed a bird with a pitch during a game. These are the only known instances in MLB history of a bird being struck and killed by a pitch.
- In contrast to these unfortunate incidents, there have been lighter moments of animal interference in sports games, including a goose causing a commotion at a Dodgers game and a praying mantis sitting atop a player’s cap during a Nationals game.
In an unlikely turn of events, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen accidentally struck and killed a bird during a pre-game warm-up, when his curveball hit the bird in mid-flight.
This unusual incident, captured on video, isn’t the first of its kind for the team; in 2001, Diamondbacks pitcher and Hall of Famer Randy Johnson similarly hit a bird with a fastball in a game against the New York Yankees.
These two occurrences are the only known instances in Major League Baseball history of a bird being killed by a pitch.
Although such tragic incidents involving birds are rare, there are numerous lighter stories of animal interference in sporting events.
For example, a game between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers was interrupted when a goose got loose on the field, leading the grounds crew on a comedic chase.
Similarly, in 2021, two separate incidents of animal invasions occurred on the same day during different games.
In a game at Yankees Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles, a wandering cat caused a halt in play, while in Washington D.C., a praying mantis chose to perch atop the baseball cap of Nationals player Victor Robles during a game against the Phillies.
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