Sprinter falls flat on face, then wins over crowd by doing ‘the worm’

Cameron Smith
April 4, 2012

Here's a riddle: How does a runner finish last in a race but still emerge as the ultimate winner? You can see the answer for yourself directly below.

The athlete in the clip above with the world class dance moves and sense of humor is Christian Vasconcellos, a freshman football player and sprinter at Honolulu (Hi.) Mid-Pacific Institute, while he competes athletically for a team called Pac-Five, which is a collective of five small Hawaii private schools. While Vasconcellos didn't earn a medal from the sprint he completed above, he may have gained more admirers -- like the good folks at Off the Bench, not to mention we here at Prep Rally -- than he ever could have with even a Usain Bolt-style victory.

Or course, Vasconcellos did appear to be headed for a first-place finish, timing his late spring burst perfectly to push in front of his surrounding sprinters. That's when he lost his balance, tumbling face-first to the Hawaii track in a scene that would be embarrassing for any sprinter, let alone a high school freshman.

Yet that's precisely when Vasconcellos turned ignominy into creative ingenuity. Rather than slowly pick himself up off the track, Vasconcellos segued directly into 'the worm,' which might be the coolest dance move on the planet.

In fact, Vasconcellos didn't just use the worm once, he did it three times, then popped up in a celebratory wave as if he'd just won the race. He even shook hands with the track-side coach who standing next to him when he hit the track.

Will Vasconcellos have better races in the future? Based on his pure speed, he almost certainly will. Will those future exploits match his worm turning antics? Almost surely not, all of which speaks to why he's a winner, whether he's won any races or not.

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