The Wolf Takes the Cheese

In Do, September 2022 by Anna Beth AdcockLeave a Comment

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An NC State grad won a renowned cheese-rolling race in England, and now she’s coming back to the Carolinas as an international celebrity. 

This summer, recent NC State grad Abby Lampe rolled into 15 minutes (or more?!) of fame after taking the W in the annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling race across the pond in Gloucestershire, England—for which she had to literally roll (read: Rough and tumble) down a hill chasing a 7-pound round of cheese that whoever gets first wins! And now, as the first American woman to claim the crown, this cheese queen is rolling back to the U.S. to howling applause. 

With a mantra to “be the cheese,” Lampe strategized and trained at Dorothea Dix Park before leaving the country. While she determined pre-race that it was best to go headfirst, she failed to factor in the steepness of Cooper’s Hill and the lack of control she’d have as she plummeted down the hill.

Since her cheesy triumph, Lampe has traveled to six countries around Europe, experiencing new cultures and eating lots of food, especially dishes featuring cheese (natch). Here at home, Lampe’s fame has spread—from recognition from her alma mater (Go Pack!) to a nod from Gov. Roy Cooper to spotlights in various prominent publications like Southern Living and Sports Illustrated

Beyond being all over the news, Lampe has been working with Wolfpack Outfitters, among other apparel outlets, to drop specialty merch with her face emblazoned on the front. The clothing is fun and whimsical with clever captions like “Cheese Queen” and “This is how the Wolfpack rolls.” 

But it gets cheddar.  Lampe will be donating 100% of the proceeds she receives from her T-shirt sales through IconicHeroes and 75% of the sales through Wolfpack Outfitters to the V Foundation for Cancer Research founded by Jimmy Valvano “in support of the head coach who led us to a natty championship,” she says. As of publication, donations are estimated to be at a little over $500. … Talk about a grate cause!

So, where is Lampe’s famous cheese trophy now? In her parents’ upstairs fridge, of course. “My dad goes to look at it every day,” laughs Lampe. “And when I get home, I want to look at my cheese and give it a big hug.” 

Once she returns to North Carolina, Lampe’s first order of business is to go to the dentist for her chipped tooth (a small price to pay for her victory), and then she plans to host a charcuterie board night with her friends and family featuring her cheese as the main dish (!). 

“This has been so surreal—the amount of support I’ve been given is insane,” says the cheese queen. “I am so grateful for the experience, and I just feel really blessed to represent NC State—and that this can bring the community together.”

Make sure to snag some of Lampe’s merch, and catch her as the guest of honor at Packapalooza and at NC State’s first home football game against Charleston Southern on Sept. 10. No doubt, heads will roll… shop.ncsu.edu/cheese-rolling-champion

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