Competitions for Highest, Fastest, Slowest Events


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

There are sports events today where the person who jumps the highest or the longest distance is declared the winner. We also have several games that puts this ideal to test  — in    High Jump; Hop, Step and Jump etc. Then there are sports where the idea is to score maximum number of Goals — in Hockey, Football. Cricket is another game popular mainly in former British colonies (Australia, India, Pakistan, West Indies, etc ) where the winner is the side that scores the largest number of Runs, and prevents the opposite team not to score so many Runs. The player who scored the largest number of Runs, or the bowler who captured the Wickets by his tricky bowling would be feted later after the match was over.

A well known author  Milan Kundera  wrote in his book   Slowness   that there were times earlier when life was slower and when we could lie down under a tree and watch the branches moving around when there was a breeze. We could also look at some leaves — their colours and shapes. Some people would lie down under the tree and perhaps read a book of poems — or occasionally even write a poem inspired by the peaceful ambience of the moment lying under that tree. The joy, the pleasure and peace of that moment would be captured by the poem that was in the mind of the person lying there. In today’s hectic world, we need to recapture the slowness, leisure, meditativeness of the event of lying beneath the tree.

Earlier — maybe four or five decades ago, there used to be a    Slow Cycling Race   where the objective of the race was to ride your bicycle slowly and not fall down. I used to cycle a lot for going to my school or for buying things for the family of my parents and sister and for other purposes.

For the   Slow Cycling   event there was a straight track of about ten meters long and when the organiser would blow his whistle for the race to start, the few (three or four or five) cyclists would start their cycles and proceed very slowly on the track, The rules of the race were simple — one could not touch the track with one’s feet  and cycle slowly — very slowly on the track. The winner was the cyclist who reached the end of the track last without falling down or touching his feet on the track. I used to think that the rules of the event were simple and I would win the race. I did a few times but lost many times by not being able to follow the rules. I would not be able to cycle very slowly and so lost out.

Were there events for cycling fast? Yes, but I did not participate in those events. For me     Slow and Steady wins the Race  as it does in my Life.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 11 Sep 2023.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Competitions for Highest, Fastest, Slowest Events, is included. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this article, please donate to TMS to join the growing list of TMS Supporters.

Share this article:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

Comments are closed.