A young Australian soccer star has claimed his fourth Guinness World Record, despite most sport being cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic.
Toowoomba’s Jed Hockin now holds an official record for juggling toilet paper with his foot 84 times in 30 seconds. Next, he plans to attempt to beat the current record of 11,901 soccer touches in an hour.
“I am looking to break heaps more Guinness World Records,” Hockin wrote in an email.
The skilled Queenslander isn’t the only one setting records while unable to play regular sports.
Guinness reports its online challenges to set new records have soared* in popularity during COVID-19-related restrictions.
David Rush of Idaho, US, became the fastest to put on 10 T-shirts, taking only 15.61 seconds. He practised so much he bruised his wrist from knocking it against his head.
Rush already holds many records, including most juggling catches on a unicycle while blindfolded (30), longest duration* balancing a bicycle on his chin (6 minutes, 1.07 seconds) and most baseball bat spins in a minute (94).
“I loved watching the (Guinness World Record) specials on TV and thumbing through the book occasionally,” said Rush. “I was fascinated by it and would be like, ’Hey, I wish I could do that.’”
Then there’s Dr Vikas Saini, who proved to be lightning quick (9.23 seconds) while putting on 10 different socks as he sat on the floor in his home in India. His strategy: Have fun with it.
“Amazing in the sense that it was not thought even in the dreams that on one fine morning I will be having such a prestigious* title for exercising (a) tiny effort,” Saini wrote in an email.
Since COVID-19 restrictions began, Guinness officials have noticed more record attempts from homes and gardens. They’ve received applications for records ranging from “most sticky notes stuck on the body in 30 seconds” to “tallest cotton plant” to “most jumping jacks in one minute.”
“We’re inside, but we still want to be able to inspire creativity, lift people’s spirits and just continue to provide an outlet for people to learn about and explore world records,” records manager Chrissy Fernandez said.
The online challenges are designed to be performed with minimal* equipment and in a way to stick to stay-at-home rules. There are also kid-friendly contests.
Fernandez is among the Guinness records managers tasked with authenticating* world marks.
Last year she attended record attempts by the Harlem Globetrotters. The famous exhibition basketball squad set six records that day, including farthest behind-the-back shot and most bounced basketball figure-eight manoeuvres blindfolded in one minute.
In this period of coronavirus restrictions, records are corroborated* online.
“We’re just adapting (record breaking) to this time,” Fernandez explained. “We want to keep people engaged and having fun because being inside can be a little boring.”
VIDEO: Jed Hockin and NRL North Queensland Cowboys’ Jason Taumalolo practised their trick shots when they met in 2019
Jason Taumalolo performs trick shots with young trickster
HOW GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS BEGAN
The idea of collecting intriguing* records came from Sir Hugh Beaver in the 1950s when he was managing director of Guinness Brewery, which makes an alcoholic drink called Guinness.
The story goes he was at a shooting party in Ireland when he and his companions began to squabble* over Europe’s fastest game bird. There was no quick way to solve the dispute.
He asked twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, who were fact-finding researchers, to compile a record book featuring topics that would help solve these kind of debates.
The first book was published in 1955 and by 1964 a million copies had been sold.
Guinness also has a Hall of Fame. Among those honoured are Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man who was measured at 2.72m in 1940 and Lee Redmond, whose fingernails measured more than 8.65m.
LOTS OF RECORDS
The Guinness database contains more than 50,000 unique records, including:
- The fastest hole of golf by an individual is listed at 1 minute, 29.62 seconds
- The quickest time to run the 100m hurdles while wearing swim fins* is 14.82 seconds for a male and 18.523 for a female
- The most basketball bounces in one minute: 656 (using two basketballs)
In a typical year, Guinness receives about 47,000 record inquiries from 178 countries. Of those, around 8000 are approved.
- soared: increased a lot
- duration: how long something goes for
- prestigious: highly regarded, important and famous
- minimal: as small as possible
- authenticating: checking that it’s real
- corroborated: agreed, confirmed
- intriguing: fascinating
- squabble: argue, bicker
- fins: flippers
- What did Jed use instead of a ball?
- Why are most recent records by one person and at home?
- When did the Guinness World Record books start?
- Who was Robert Wadlow?
- What were the hurdling record holders wearing on their feet?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Design a Training Program
Choose one of the world record activities in today’s story. Design a training program that would help you to develop the skills and speed to break the record in that activity.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education
Write a story that starts with these sentences: “Everyone thought I was crazy to try to set this new world record at home. But I knew that I could do it.”
Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English
Proper Noun Police
A proper noun is a noun that names a particular person, place or thing. It always has a capital letter.
How many proper nouns can you find within this article? Find them all and sort them into the category of name, place, time (date/month).
Can you find any proper nouns included in your writing?
What are they?
Can you sort them into their categories?
HAVE YOUR SAY: Which record do you dream of setting?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.