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Europe Holds an Annual Tram-Driver Olympics

Take a minute and watch some tram bowling.

Strike!
Strike! TRAM-EM

If you have a good tram driver, you probably won’t even notice. So it’s nice that once a year, the best of the best get a chance to shine.

The annual “European Tram-Driver Championship,” aka TRAM-EM, aims, in its own words, to “project the public transport service as a modern and interesting service.” They do this in the most obvious way possible: by requiring tram drivers to perform feats of agility, speed, cunning and strength, via driving their trams.

In this event, drivers must stop the tram so that the center door lines up exactly with an arrow on the ground.
In this event, drivers must stop the tram so that the center door lines up exactly with an arrow on the ground. TRAM-EM

This year’s TRAM-EM—the sixth one ever—was held in Tenerife, Spain last weekend, and featured 23 teams from 14 countries. Events included acceleration competitions, precision stopping, and “Tram Bowling,” in which a driver uses his or her vehicle to knock a massive inflatable ball towards an arrangement of 6-foot-tall pins.

This year’s individual winners were Franka Sonntag of Berlin and Karim Annough of Paris. The winning team was from Paris, with Berlin and Frankfurt coming second and third.

If you are so inclined, you can watch an 8-hour recording of the competition on the TRAM-EM Youtube channel. And if you just want the bowling, here’s some from 2016:

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