In 1908, Olympics founder Pierre de Coubertin
spoke the phrase that would become the Olympic creed: “The important thing in life is not
the triumph, but the fight. The essential thing is not to have won, but
to have fought well.” This is the fight. This is race walking. Why are they walking like that? This is an Olympic event where men and women
walk 20 kilometers. 12.4 miles. And men go as far as 50 kilometers — 31
miles! And the best go at less than 7 minutes a mile. 7 minutes. It’s hypnotic and — you know, with all that
hip action — it’s very dancey. They look like they’re rushing to the bathroom. Tell me, do we know why they walk like that? Phil, we’re in luck — we do know why they’re
walking like that. People study this. There are actually dozens of papers about
race walking. I talked to one researcher who wrote his PhD
thesis on the biomechanics of the race walk. He has studies with names like “Kinematic
characteristics of elite men’s 50 km race walking.” This is some serious science here. OK, so they actually study why race walkers
walk like that. Yeah, they don’t just study it — they track
it. This little Tron like thing that is on the
screen with the race walker, this is an actual top race walker who they’ve studied how she
walks. Yeah, this is a top race walker. They are tracking her every articulation of
the joint, they’re seeing what makes her go so fast while walking. There’s a good reason why they walk like that. They’re pushing their bodies to the extreme. They have to conform to one very important
number: 230.2. What is 230.2? You don’t know 230.2? No, what is 230-2? It is the rule of race walking. Researcher Brian Hanley explains. “There’s one rule, it’s rule 230.2.” Judges use rules to make sure people are walking,
not running. There’s a big difference. “So one part states that you can’t have any
visible loss of contact with the ground.” So if one foot is kind of in the air, like
this, then another has to be on the ground? Or at least to the human eye? Yeah, walkers can trick the judges for about
40 milliseconds. So you know when you’re running, there’s this
point where you have no feet on the ground, it’s kind of crazy if you watch that in slow
motion of how people run — we’re kind of jumping from one foot to the other. Judges are looking out for this. They call it “flight time.” And it’s illegal. And judges do boot people out. So it’s kinda like traveling in basketball
— sometimes these guys’ll take an extra step, and if the ref doesn’t catch it or call
it, it just means they’re a good player, it means they know what they’re doing. You figured it out. It’s all about that. If the judges can’t see, flight time flies. “And the other rule is that the knee must
be straightened from when you make first contact with the ground until it passes under your
body.” OK, so it looks like they almost kind of lock
their knee. “That’s what gives it its sort of unusual
look.” The speed of your walk is your stride length
times your stride frequency. So you can take long steps or fast steps,
ideally you’re gonna do both. But race walkers have a limited stride length. They can’t jump. They can’t bend their knee. They can’t run. So they have to figure ways to step faster. They rotate their pelvis like this. “So that helps them get longer steps.” OK. And they also drop their hips down lower. “It will keep your center of mass low. So you don’t end up with a bouncing motion. You kind of end up with a smooth motion.” It does look really smooth, if you just look
at their upper body. It’s just a straight line, there is no bouncing. They walk in a very straight line. “Race walkers put their feet in a straight
line. A good analogy is like a tightrope — it
helps them do that rotation of the pelvis, it makes their steps longer.” So basically, these walkers figured out how
to fit the rules and make walking more efficient, but more efficient ends up looking kind of
weird. That looks weird to you, but this is strategy. The best athletes look for an edge. Bicyclists drift to reduce wind resistance,
wrestlers dehydrate to lower their weight class, and race walkers… They wiggle. OK, I got it. I have one more question. Ugh, fine. OK, so is this actually fun to watch? Yeah, it actually is. Because it’s so cutthroat and exhausting. Plus, there’s this:
“But it’s really interesting as well, because you never know who’s going to win, because
they can always get disqualified. So it makes it more exciting than running
is. You can see the real, sort of, human struggle
in it.” And we can learn things from this struggle. “Race walkers are walking differently, because
they’ve got these rules, it forces them to walk a different way, and that can teach us
more about normal people walking.” We’re all walking based on rules. Rules our body sets. The way we’re built. Like the bounce in this guy’s step, or how
this woman swings her arm. That’s the excitement of sports. You’re giving people these absurd, sometimes
really absurd, rules, these confines to work within. And we know what the rules are. The drama is how people deal with them. Getting disqualified from an elite race walking
race would be a brutal blow, so they try to keep it fair. Most rules require that three different judges
each give you a red card before you can be disqualified from a race.

Yes, race walking is an Olympic sport. Here’s how it works.
Tagged on:                                                                                                     

100 thoughts on “Yes, race walking is an Olympic sport. Here’s how it works.

  • April 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm
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    Created by middle aged mothers

    Reply
  • April 5, 2019 at 12:53 am
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    I’ve actually done race walk races and it’s extremely hard. I go to William Penn University and I’m on the track team here and since we’re are in the NAIA instead of the NCAA, race walking is an actual event. I did the 3k racewalk at my conference championship for indoor season and finished 9th in the conference. The training absolutely destroys your shins and after about 250m of the race you feel a constant burn up your legs. The training is just like any other distance runner besides you walk instead of run. I did 800m repeats walking, 200m intervals, it’s very similar. The worst part is the judges. I got to two fouls during the championships and it’s extremely scary knowing if I plant my leg wrong and buckle at the knee or push off to hard and lift off the ground for a fraction of a second near a judge, it could all be for nothing. It’s an awesome sport that looks goofy but people should definitely look into

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  • April 5, 2019 at 3:50 pm
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    This is exactly what my buddy and I used to do in High School sometimes to joke around. We walk raced- it looked real funny too

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  • April 5, 2019 at 11:42 pm
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    This is professional Ace Ventura walking.

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  • April 7, 2019 at 2:07 am
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    Wow walking was really an Olympic sport before rock climbing

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  • April 7, 2019 at 3:24 am
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    Is it possible to make the explanation even more boring than the activity?

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  • April 8, 2019 at 12:22 pm
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    This woman can swing her arm my way any time.

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  • April 8, 2019 at 11:26 pm
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    Who's here from Mr. Brown's Online PE class?

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  • April 9, 2019 at 7:09 pm
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    "You might not like it, but this is what peak performance look like."

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  • April 11, 2019 at 4:33 pm
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    Join me on the Zurich 20km city run; race walk for me 😉 just because for the sake of creating what suits you the best (knee injury makes it more challenging) yayyy

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  • April 12, 2019 at 9:25 pm
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    When you're late for class but you can't run in the hallways. So you walk like this:

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  • April 13, 2019 at 6:41 pm
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    My Dad in the grocery store

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  • April 13, 2019 at 11:10 pm
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    oh my god, our p.e. teacher got us to race walk 400 m and it was great XD

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  • April 14, 2019 at 12:17 pm
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    It just looks so bad for your hips and spine and knees from some reason. I can't picture why, but the rounded stiffness of the torso when running just looks healthier despite the higher impact on the knee and ankles.

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  • April 14, 2019 at 5:30 pm
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    Before: Why race walkers walks like that
    Now: Why Michael Myer walk so damn fast

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  • April 15, 2019 at 6:00 am
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    Please read this.
    I'm a teen who entered a competition but i need likes before the end of april to make it. Please go on insta at miss_ghana_russia and like the 9th pic Maria . Don't forget it's the 9th pic Maria. Thank you

    Reply
  • April 15, 2019 at 6:14 am
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    I bet Hal could smoke all these race walkers… Dude was a natural.

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  • April 16, 2019 at 4:57 am
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    Watching them walk like that hurts my hips ahhh

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  • April 18, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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    They look like penguins

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  • April 19, 2019 at 4:50 am
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    now all we need is a quiet sleeping contest

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  • April 19, 2019 at 4:57 am
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    My aunt would win this, I lost her several times because she walks so fast.

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  • April 19, 2019 at 3:26 pm
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    Gay running

    Reply
  • April 20, 2019 at 1:40 am
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    at one of my meets this was an event and it was so funny 😂😂

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  • April 21, 2019 at 9:14 pm
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    Imagine their merengue skills

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  • April 25, 2019 at 5:53 am
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    Speed gay walking.

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  • April 25, 2019 at 11:47 pm
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    Having the fastest walking race is like having the slowest car contest.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 2:30 am
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    Me and my friends in the hallways

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  • April 27, 2019 at 12:32 pm
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    JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-JOOOO…..thumbnail made me think that

    Reply
  • April 27, 2019 at 8:09 pm
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    Like gods coming down from Mount Olympus!

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  • April 28, 2019 at 12:58 am
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    I don't get it 🤔

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  • May 5, 2019 at 4:26 pm
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    This reminds me of the episode of Malcom in the middle when Hal does fast walking 😂

    Reply
  • May 7, 2019 at 1:15 am
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    But half of them aren't walking

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  • May 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm
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    I used to do this in high school we call it walkathon and yes some times you get cramps and it's painful.

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  • May 9, 2019 at 6:02 pm
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    Who "walks" like this?

    That's right… No one.

    Reply
  • May 13, 2019 at 4:52 am
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    When the bathrooms finally available and you gotta take a mean one.

    Reply
  • May 15, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    They should get rid of race walkn cuz i see some jogn

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  • May 16, 2019 at 12:49 am
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    Who else now thinks they can be a Olympic walker now

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  • May 20, 2019 at 9:59 am
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    https://youtu.be/60yL1filycI

    Reply
  • May 21, 2019 at 2:27 am
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    1:54

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  • May 24, 2019 at 7:06 pm
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    Just watching them is making my low back hurt.

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  • May 26, 2019 at 4:08 am
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    I just want to walk like that so I can just be a bit stranger

    Reply
  • May 28, 2019 at 3:25 am
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    Everybody:

    New Yorkers: this

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  • May 28, 2019 at 4:38 am
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    0:42 "it's… HIPnotic :)"

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  • May 29, 2019 at 2:26 pm
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    in high school i was a sprinter and we'd see these mfers walking in the inner lanes and always thought they were warming up or something. Then one day I ran into one and told em to stop walking on the track n they explained to me its a sport 😂

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 10:55 pm
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    When you can’t run in the hall but the lunch que is getting longer

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  • June 8, 2019 at 9:12 pm
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    Thumb wrestling should be an Olympic event.

    Reply
  • June 12, 2019 at 12:28 pm
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    This gives me the same bizzare vibe as the hand model lady

    Reply
  • June 12, 2019 at 4:20 pm
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    me and my boys stoping Gregory from having premarital sex

    Reply
  • June 20, 2019 at 5:16 am
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    2:38
    my dad running

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  • June 22, 2019 at 10:17 pm
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    Y’all have to watch the Malcolm in the Middle episode where Hal gets Into racewalking

    Reply
  • June 24, 2019 at 3:23 pm
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    It's running without impacting your joints as hard. It's amazing for your body.

    Reply
  • July 5, 2019 at 6:01 am
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    Well there is a real Sleeping Contest so this wouldnt suprise me

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  • July 10, 2019 at 5:12 am
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    this is SENDING ME

    Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 8:53 pm
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    These people walk faster than average person runs.

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  • July 17, 2019 at 6:19 am
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    My uncle was a winner in a few race walking competitions. My other uncle was a track star. Both my parents did sports back in Kenya…mom did field hockey. Can't remember what dad did. But I think they also did track. And there is me. Growing up people would ask me if im a runner..was it because I was Kenyan…or I…looked like I would be a good runner? All I know is I hated running and would come in almost last, if not dead last in our mile races we had to do every few months in school. My fastest mile was in HS, at like 9:36. LOL. The only other best ive had was doing a 6 mile bike trail in under 15 minutes, months before it took me 45 minutes and was pure torture, lol.

    Now 34…some reason, they were in my recommends, I just began watching these track and field competitions…first time I ever watched Usain Bolt, WOW JUST WOW, and there are a whole lot of Kenyans I didnt even know we compete in these races lol! Anyway…im feeling a motivated to get into some training…I have always wanted to win a charity run (do you win those?lol) and always wanted to compete in at least one of those obstacle course events they have…like Spartan!

    Reply
  • July 22, 2019 at 7:05 pm
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    Bottle of Blue Label for the winner. 😎

    Reply
  • July 26, 2019 at 11:12 am
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    Gayest sport

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 8:57 am
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    Hahahaha

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 3:32 pm
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    I can walk fast but, I underestimated fast walking slightly….

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  • July 30, 2019 at 4:32 pm
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    Just explain it, don't be d**cks.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 2:50 pm
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    Yeah about that I’m pretty sure the olympics wasn’t “created” in the 1900s

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 11:52 pm
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    why is it that this is an Olympic sport but pole/wheel dancing isn't. sis

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 5:52 am
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    0:50 That actually just looks like a slow NASCAR race for humans.

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  • August 8, 2019 at 4:40 am
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    This would be my godmothers favourite sport. She walks faster than these guys (atleast when she was 60) past the airport and back without breaking a sweat. Even while she was battling cancer and losing her hair.. she just tied a bandana to cover it and I'd see her walking around 4 to the airport with the occasional visit to my grandma.. i never realized that she was actually exercising when I thought she just had places to go or Bingo lol.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 2:22 am
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    Aka how to become THICCK

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm
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    Walking is an Olympic sport
    Also the Olympics
    Esports is not a sport

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 10:05 am
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    this reminds me of the group of elderly people jogging at our village

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  • August 11, 2019 at 7:49 pm
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    Who watching this Two years and 364 days late?

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 8:01 pm
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    heh~,so Richard Watrerson wasn't joking when he said that huh ?

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 5:35 am
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    Gayest sport out here

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 1:14 am
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    When you don’t have enough hunger to sprint in Minecraft

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  • August 14, 2019 at 3:25 am
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    White people when they don't win:

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 10:25 pm
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    This reminds of Hal from Malcolm in the middle😂

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  • August 15, 2019 at 7:52 am
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    Trying to hold the pressure😂😂

    Reply
  • August 15, 2019 at 1:39 pm
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    But yea esports shouldn’t count tho right

    Reply
  • August 15, 2019 at 5:14 pm
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    What the duck… They're to many good sports and they bring this to Olympics

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 2:02 am
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    My knees hurt just watching this

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  • August 16, 2019 at 4:22 am
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    I tried this and it’s actually hard

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 4:32 am
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    This is how I walk when I'm running late for class

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  • August 16, 2019 at 12:03 pm
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    hate how they try to bend the rules (like jumping just so that the judges miss it), weak character

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 7:59 am
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    I read this as wave walking I’m I the only one?

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  • August 17, 2019 at 9:44 am
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    Me when meeting a project deadliest deadline, rotate pelvis and end up with a smooth motion.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 6:26 am
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    Listen closely at 4:25 2008

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 11:43 pm
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    3:35

    Reply
  • August 20, 2019 at 3:14 pm
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    My ex speed walked out of my life a lot faster.

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  • August 20, 2019 at 3:50 pm
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    Stranger : aren't you the that one gold medalists
    Race walker: yes I have three gold medals in race walking
    Stranger*starts walk away *: sure

    Reply
  • August 21, 2019 at 10:10 am
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    WALK BARRY WALK!!!

    Reply
  • August 21, 2019 at 4:34 pm
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    0:25 IM DEAD

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 5:18 pm
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    No one:

    Absolutely no one:

    Grandmas in Walmart:

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 8:11 pm
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    Meanwhile, Jason Derulo:

    Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle.😂

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 2:46 pm
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    walk racer at the pool:
    Lifeguard: No running
    walk racer: I'm not running

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 5:02 pm
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    Why am I watching this 😂

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 2:18 am
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    Vox by far has the best youtube of any news corporation.

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 11:51 pm
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    4:38 theyre all breaking the rules by lifting 2 feet

    Reply
  • August 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm
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    I'm straight

    Just sayin

    Reply
  • August 31, 2019 at 3:57 am
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    vroooooooom vrooooooooooooom

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 3:18 pm
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    Still not convinced this should exist.

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  • September 13, 2019 at 5:07 pm
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    That looks really harsh on the knees

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  • September 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm
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    this looks painful. Looks like it chafes a lot

    Reply
  • September 19, 2019 at 10:04 am
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    Kerala india like

    Reply

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