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World of the Bizarre

Man defends 'Gurning Championships' title

By T.K. Randall
September 18, 2017 · Comment icon 8 comments

The contest involves contorting your face in to a ridiculous pose. Image Credit: YouTube / Tyler News
50-year-old Ady Zivelonghi from Coventry has won the face-pulling contest for the second year in a row.
When it comes to strange sports, it's difficult to find anything more bizarre than this.

The World Gurning Championships, which are traditionally held in the UK at the 750-year-old Egremont Crab Fair, require each contestant to pull as ridiculous a face as possible.

The winner is the one who can distort their face the most without using their hands.
Ady Zivelonghi, who has won the contest two years running, attributes his success to his special move that he calls 'The Predator' after the creature from the 1987 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"Adrian has been taking part in the competition since around the year 2000, and has been attending every year since," said Crab Fair organiser Steve Foster.

"It looks like it is just pulling faces, but they work hard to work out their techniques to hold the poses. Adrian has worked hard to perfect his technique, and this year it has paid off."

Source: BBC News | Comments (8)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by and then 5 years ago
Thanks for teaching a new term! †I never knew there was a word for "pulling a strange face" †
Comment icon #2 Posted by acute 5 years ago
This has puzzled me for a long time: What is the thing the gurners hold, and why is it there?† ie: What is the origin of it all.
Comment icon #3 Posted by LV-426 5 years ago
He's gurning? I just thought everyone from the West Midlands looked like that! *sneaks off before acute notices*
Comment icon #4 Posted by Black Monk 5 years ago
A gurn or chuck, in British English, is a distorted facial expression, and a verb to describe the action. The American English equivalent is "making a face". Gurning contests are a rural English tradition. By far the most notable is that held annually at the Egremont Crab Fair, which dates back to 1267 when King Henry III granted the fair a Royal Charter.[2] The origins of the gurning competition itself are unclear, and may not be so old, although it was described as an ancient tradition by local newspaper the Cumberland Paquet in 1852.[3] The competitions are held regularly in some villages, ... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by LV-426 5 years ago
Egremont Crab Fair - History "To gurn means to 'snarl like a dog, look savage, distort the countenance'. This competition is extremely popular and is the highlight of the whole Crab Fair for most people. Contestants have to pull a grotesque face through a horse collar, known as a braffin. Through the centuries the event has been reported by newspapers under various titles. In 1852 it was described as Grinn for tobacco, in 1884 it was more colloquially known as Grinning for 'bacca. In the twentieth century it became Gurning through a braffin and is now known as the World Gurning Competition. Th... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
How many pints are consumed first? I'm going to forward this to a "Blighty Boy" buddy†that runs our plant in SC for his comments.
Comment icon #7 Posted by acute 5 years ago
Definitely Black Country faces!† Fortunately, the Black Country is the other side of The Wall from Birmingham (where the beautiful people live) .
Comment icon #8 Posted by acute 5 years ago
Ah!†Mystery solved!† Thank you.

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