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Field of dreams: heartbreak and heroics at the World Ploughing Championships

23.11.2018
Příroda
Some compare it to snooker, others to figure skating. But for those who have given their lives to competitive ploughing, it's more than a sport, it's a way of life. By Sophie ElmhirstOn 31 August, the night before the first day of the World Ploughing Championship, the bar of the Hotel Fortuna in the small German town of Reutlingen was crammed with the global ploughing elite. The scene resembled a low-key United Nations afterparty - Swiss, Kenyans, Australians, Latvians, Canadians and French, all slugging back long glasses of German beer. The top flight of international ploughing is a limited pool, the same faces recurring every year, and so the atmosphere was jovial, like a school reunion, 50-odd ploughmen and two ploughwomen (the sport has historically been dominated by men) hailing each other affectionately across the room. Much of the talk concerned the wild boar who had apparently dug up the field where the following day's competition would take place. But there was something else in the air too, a bonhomie edged with rivalry. They were here to win.The two English competitors, Mick Chappell and Ashley Boyles, stood to one side with their families. Chappell is 57, Boyles 35, but it was the younger man who bid everyone goodnight and went up to bed early. Boyles takes his ploughing very seriously. Chappell, a man more inclined to Freddie Flintoff-style bouts of prolonged revelry, leaned against a wall, finished a pint and readily accepted the offer of another. Earlier in the summer, he had told me he would prepare for the world championship by drinking five pints the night before. When asked if any other international athlete adopted a similar strategy ahead of a major competition, he disputed the terms: "I wouldn't say athlete." Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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