Manchin pulls out high-speed zip line race over Capito

Senators kick off scouting jamboree in West Virginia

Sen. Joe Manchin prepares for the “Big Zip” on Monday. (Courtesy Joe Manchin’s office)
Sen. Joe Manchin prepares for the “Big Zip” on Monday. (Courtesy Joe Manchin’s office)
Posted July 22, 2019 at 6:29pm

Sometimes the race goes neither to the swiftest nor the strongest … but the heftiest.

West Virginia’s two senators kicked off the 24th World Scout Jamboree with a friendly bipartisan zip line race.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a former scout, beat out Sen. Shelley Moore Capito by a pretty safe margin along the “Big Zip” at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, which features five parallel zip lines that run over a combined 3,000 feet long. Racers can reach speeds of up to 50 mph.

We don’t know the strategy that goes into zip line racing, so maybe it was a combination of weight and aerodynamics that gave Manchin the edge. “I told you, there’s an advantage in weight,” he tells Capito in a video he posted to Twitter. “And age,” she replies.

The World Scout Jamboree, which is being hosted in the United States for the first time since 1967, takes place every four years and is attended by tens of thousands of boys and girls from more than 120 countries.

The event runs Monday through Aug. 2 at the West Virginia scouting center, but some groups came early to sightsee in D.C. If you spotted troupes of kerchief-wearing, badge-adorned teens riding the Metro this weekend, they were probably here for the jamboree.