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Photo of the Week: Mr. Reindeer, You’re Doing It Wrong

Running in the Wrong Direction

On your marks, get set...turn around and run into the crowd!

You’ve heard of the World Cup of soccer/football, you’ve heard of the Rugby World Cup…but have you heard of the World Cup of reindeer racing? Essentially, this is where (crazy) people put on skis and tie themselves to a rampaging reindeer, presumably having done this many times before since they’ve made it to the World Cup.

Along with the people behind the reindeer, I assumed that the reindeer themselves would have been through rigorous training and plenty of previous races. Plus, there’s no better place to find reindeer than Kautokeino, the home of the World Cup of reindeer racing and the Sami Easter Festival and one of the administrative centers for the Sami in Norway. It’s home to 3,000 people and 100,000 reindeer.

However, it seemed like this reindeer was determined to waste all of that previous training…or maybe he was just having a bad day. Either way, as soon as the gates opened and the other two reindeer stampeded out onto the track, this one turned tail, dumped his racer in the snow, and ran headlong into the crowd. Luckily, since he ran into the area that was regularly cleared for reindeer to be wrangled through from their pens, there weren’t a lot of spectators for him to hurt and he was quickly put back in his pen…which seemed to be exactly where he wanted to be anyway!

Here are a few shots of reindeer doing it right:

Reindeer Racing at the Sami Easter FestivalReindeer Racing at the Sami Easter FestivalReindeer Racing at the Sami Easter FestivalReindeer Racing at the Sami Easter Festival

Would you put on skis and tie yourself to a reindeer? I wouldn’t, but then again, I’m clumsy enough on skis without being behind a reindeer?

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