The Viral Video of Somalia’s Slowest Sprinter Has to Be a ‘Key & Peele’ Sketch
Spectators at the FISU World University Games in Chengdu, China yesterday bore witness to the funniest incident in an athletic competition since Hinge McCringleberry was flagged for his third pump.
When the competitors in the women’s 100 meter race at the biennial event lined up in their lanes, something seemed a bit off. The Somali representative, Ms. Nasra Ali Abukar, not only stood about six inches shorter than the rest of the field, but, as she took her position in the starting block, Abukar looked as if she was setting foot on the device for the first time in her life — because she was. Abukar was not a sprinter, nor had she ever competed in any athletic event whatsoever, a fact that was plainly on display as she skipped across the finish line in almost double the time of the rest of the competitors.
Following the alleged “slowest ever” finish in the history of the international competition, some outraged Somalis came forward with nepotism accusations, claiming that Abukar was the niece of an executive in the country’s national athletics federation. However, I’m not convinced that she wasn’t just Jordan Peele in disguise.
“We don’t truly appreciate how funny the world is,” Twitter user @_Zeets wrote in a repost of the video that attracted over 14 million views. Commenters were in awe of the display of un-athleticism on such a stage, with many refusing to believe that the video wasn’t staged by Key & Peele, or Dave Chappelle, or even Katt Williams.
Sadly, the real explanation behind the viral video is that, in Somalia, women are strongly advised against pursuing any kind of athletic achievement, as the staunchly conservative religious convictions of many Somalians forbid women from competing in such events.
However, the cultural conditions that created such a lopsided competition shouldn’t stop us from appreciating the fact that, finally, we have a real-time reference point for how the average person plucked off the street would perform against world-class athletes — and it went skippingly.