The highs and lows of the ALS ice bucket challenge

The highs and lows of the ALS ice bucket challenge

Thanks to its simplicity, its shock factor and the sincere cause behind it, the ALS ice bucket challenge has been a viral sensation for the last fortnight.

Along the way it's been celebrated as a cause for good, vilified as nothing more than a celebrity wet T-shirt contest and then celebrated again for its money-raising and awareness-raising success.

The ice bucket challenge reportedly started out on the US golf tour as a way for pros to donate some of their winnings to charity. Since then it's been a case of peaks and troughs, high points and low points.

High point

The link between ice buckets and ALS, also known as motor neurone disease, is said to have begun when golfer Chris Kennedy challenged his cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband has ALS. She nominated three people, and so it began.

Low pointsGuys like these not quite getting the hang of the whole thing...

OK, many, many other low points

High point

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took on the challenge, one of the first mega-celebrities to get involved and catapult the trend to the world's attention.

Low point

Justin Bieber - singer, popstar, person on social media - poured a saucepan of lukewarm water over himself:


High point

Bill Gates, not really a man with a lot of time on his hands, restored some decorum.

Low pointWe're not really sure what's going on here. Please stop. Immediately.
High/low pointLet's just put this one down to karma.
Low pointStep away from the bucket, Wayne.
High/low pointWatching Charlie Sheen pour a pan of hundred dollar bills over his head appears quite low on the surface, but as he donated $10,000 he sort of makes up for it.
#WinningHigh pointNovak Djokovic nominates Conchita Wurst, Mr Bean and Michael Jordan, whilst dancing to Ice Ice Baby.
High/low pointSteve-O from Jackass questions if the meaning of the ice bucket challenge has been lost, is subsequently lionised and lambasted in equal measure.

Low point

A video emerges of Cristiano Ronaldo getting dunked with ice water while wearing a pair of purple Y-fronts, seemingly filmed through a potato.

High point

Jose Mourinho inexplicably nominates Bryan Adams and James McAvoy before going a bit Brian Badonde at the end.

Low point

Nominated by Nike CEO Mark Parker, Nike athletes Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, who just happen to be wearing Nike T-shirts, go a bit light on what the ALS ice bucket challenge is actually about.

Very low point

Although their challenge did result in the nomination of George W Bush, who is notably heavier on detail about ALS. As many people pointed out, there is something uncomfortable about the president who ultimately oversaw the use of waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay having a bucket of water thrown over his head.

Low point (and yet very high)

The Ajax football team hitting a pitch only certain species of Madagascan bat can hear.

Surreal point

Things are just getting a bit out of hand now.

Very high point

The New York Times has reported that donations to the ALS Association had reached $41.8m (£25.2m) from July 29 until August 21, with more than 739,000 new donors.

The reality

ALS sufferer Anthony Carbajal provided a timely reminder that, while watching Z-list celebrity after Z-list celebrity douse themselves in ice water is annoying, the root cause of the ice bucket challenge is actually rather important after all:

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)