Friday, April 08, 2011

It makes a fellow proud to be an Oxonian!

I have just learned that a couple of weeks ago, alongside the famous 182-year-old Boat Race, England's two oldest universities inaugurated an Inter-Varsity Stoat Race.

There's been a Goat Race for a few years now, so I suppose this was a logical progression. Unfortunately, Cambridge appear to have established an ascendancy in goat racing. Oxford, however, stormed to victory in the first-ever Stoat Race on March 26th, thereby establishing a crucial early lead in what I am sure will go on to become a long-running and historic sporting series.

Then again, we won the first Boat Race too, but then got stuffed in seven out of the next eight; and we haven't held the lead in that series for 82 years now.

I take an especially keen interest in these novel forms of sporting contest, since I went to the college which originated Tortoise Racing. This is the kind of creativity that distinguishes the truly elite academic institutions. Beida, Tsinghua, and Fudan are never going to muscle their way into the 'Top 30' of the QS Rankings until they start cultivating this sort of wild undergraduate frivolity.

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