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American veteran wins daredevil UK cheese rolling race

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May 27, 2013: Competitors take part in the annual Cheese Rolling event at Coppers Hill near Brockworth, Gloucestershire, England. (AP)

A U.S. Army veteran has proved himself to be the big cheese after traveling more than 4,000 miles to England to win a daredevil race.

The annual Cheese Rolling competition in Gloucestershire, where contestants sprint down a steep hill in pursuit of an 8-pound piece of Double Gloucester, was won Monday by Kenny Rackers, 27, of Colorado Springs.

"I put it on my bucket list and today it was to win and that's what I did," Rackers said, according to KKTV. "My message is that today we're celebrating Memorial Day and we're remembering all the soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice, so I want to thank all the soldiers past and present for their service for everywhere.”

The race, which has been celebrated for centuries, is believed to have its roots in a heathen festival to mark the return of spring, the Press Association reports.

The official event was canceled in 2010 over health and safety concerns, but it continues to take place each year. The cheese, which the winner must grab, was replaced in the 2013 event with a foam version.

Gloucestershire police say those who organize the event could face legal liabilities, depending on the severity of the participants’ injuries.

Click for more from the Guardian.