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Shortcuts: How to be a world champion

By Dean Irvine for CNN
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(CNN) -- If you feel you've missed your shot at being a world champion (in anything), think again. There are more opportunities and ways than you might think to being top of the world.

I could have been a contender...

Maybe you still can be. This weekend is the 2006 Rock, Paper, Scissorsexternal link World Championship when one committed soul will be able to claim to be the world's best at the school playground game -- proving that a lack of sporting prowess, natural aptitude or intelligence should not get in the way of becoming a world champion. The World Championships is now in its 5th year, with 2005 champion Andrew Bergel, a lawyer from Toronto, defending his title against over 750 competitors, including the national champions of Norway, Australia and New Zealand.

Take things seriously (but not too seriously).

The reward is only equal to the effort after all. Even Rock Paper Scissors competitors practice and even have strategies on for which shapes to throw. But ultimately you can never be too serious about rock paper scissors; after all it's not chess. Plus it's being held in a brewery.

Be adaptable.

Combine your mediocrities into one unbeatable package. You may have been a half-decent chess player in your prime but you're probably not going to get current world No.1 Veselin Topalov in a zugzwang any time soon. However if you fancy polishing your pugilistic skills you could merge the two and take a shot at being the World Chess-Boxingexternal link Champion. Pit your brains and brawn against an opponent in the ring - each round of boxing is punctuated by four minutes of chess, also played in the ring, until a someone gets a K.O or a checkmate.

Be dedicated.

Even without those boring old attributes of skill, sporting prowess and intelligence, you're going to need dedication to be a world champ. Combine this with picking the right event and you could be on to a winner. Hirsute readers of The Briefing Room might like to enter the World Beard and Moustache Championships. It takes place next year so you have plenty of time to tease that facial topiary into something magnificent. Otherwise there's the increasingly prestigious, yet no less ridiculous, Air Guitar World Championships, where all those hours of playing air guitar in front of the mirror to Guns 'N' Roses "Appetite for Destruction" could pay dividends. This year's champ is Ochi Yosuke from Japan, whose performance was described as "simplistic but extremely classy" by the judges.

Revel in the spirit of competition.

Being the holder of a world record just doesn't compare to being a world champion. Sure making the world's longest line of dominos takes dedication and patience, but there's still something pathological about spending that much time on your own, creating a record that no one in their right mind would want to beat. It's that competitive edge, besting those who want your crown that makes the title of Champion of the World all the sweeter.

Hunger for success.

If you find that your appetite for competition and world domination extends to eating over 50 hotdogs in twelve minutes, you might find a calling in the world of competitive eating. Proving that physical attributes need not prevent you from attaining you dream, Takeru Kobayashi from Japan weighs in a 160lbs, but is recognised by the International Federation for Competitive Eating as the world's No.1. Kobayashi managed to pack away 53 hotdogs in 12 minutes and 20lbs of rice balls in half an hour --proving his speed gluttony credentials.

Start your own world governing body.

If you really can't find an event to master, you could always take the ultimate shortcut by inventing on and becoming the world's official governing body. Something such as bog snorkelling, dwarf tossing, mobile phone throwing or cockroach racing, maybe. Oh, hang on, they've already been done.


Master your opening gambit and be champion of the world (at rock, paper, scissors).

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