The Spasmic Glory Of Race Walking In GIFs

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll stick your tongue out like a true race-walking OG.


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Race walking is like running, except you have to keep one foot touching the ground at all times and your leg, when touching the ground, needs to be perfectly straight. Deadspin has an expansive guide if you’re curious for more information.

The eventual winner will finish in one hour, 18 minutes, and 46 seconds. That’s a little faster than 6:30-minute miles. Walking. You can close your mouth now.

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Here we have pack movement early in the 20-kilometer race. 20 kilometers is about 12.4 miles. Can you imagine doing this for 12.4 miles? No, no you cannot.

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Even race-walkers need to pour water over their heads.

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A French gentleman named Bertrand Moulinet took an early lead. According to his London 2012 bio, Moulinet’s father also represented France in race walking. DYNASTY.

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Above the waist, he looks like he’s running!

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But his feet tell the real story. Seriously, no joke: this stuff is impressive. Having to worry about both speed and adhering to some specific style during a race is a serious challenge.

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Here’s the lead pack, walking it out.

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*cue “Chariots of Fire” music*

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Soundtrack: “I’m Hotta,” Sasha Go Hard ft. Katie Got Bandz and Chella H

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Alas, it was not to be. More than halfway through the race, Moulinet began to lag. He ultimately finished 8th.

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Here we have the true leaders: Ding Chen and Zhen Wang of China, and Erick Barrondo of Guatemala.

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Not too far after that, though, Chen begins to pull away.

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Chen’s a rock star. Check out the thumbs-up here.

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Don’t think race walking is a savage, brutal sport? THINK AGAIN.

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Here’s the finish. China owns race walking.


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Remember when I said Chen was a rock star? The whole Chinese race-walking squad is balling out.

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