Most of us would have trouble doing one back handspring. Chelsey Kipping can do 32 in a row. In July 2010, the then 13-year-old gymnast from Valmeyer, Illinois, showed off her tumbling talents for an important cause: honoring a friend who had been killed by a drink driver with a new world record for Most Consecutive Back Handsprings.
RecordSetter: Tell us a bit about yourself! How old are you, where are you from and what do you like to do?
Chelsey: I’m 14-and-a-half years old (almost 15), I live in Valmeyer, IL. I’m a level nine gymnast and I’m obsessed with gymnastics so that takes up most of my time. I’ve also become a cheerleader. I love kids so I babysit whenever I can. My brother is in college. So when he comes home I really enjoy spending time with him. When I have days I’m not at gym I am with my best friend Miranda. Either watching her play her sports or just wasting time.
What made you set the handspring record?
I had done a “Flip-A-Thon as a fund raiser for my gymnastics at the Mid Summer Celebration in Valmeyer for a few years. Each year, I did more back handsprings. The announcers would always “interview” me between innings. It was Mel Patton and Artie Voellinger, and they were very nice and funny.
Ben Jenkins and Kia McNeely are the current world record holders for the “Longest High-Five,” a prestigious title formerly held by Toronto-tandem Sam Stilson and Craig Morrison, and the Australian duo of Matt Kelly and Dave Thompson. The length of the “Longest High-Five” refers to the combined distance traveled by the high-fivers before connecting at the approximate midway for a high-five. Here’s the video of their impressive feat:
Ben and Kia were kind enough to take part in an interview with me about the challenges, pressure, and a possible feud that came along with attempting to break that particular world record. It went a lot like this:
RS: Was this your first attempt?
Ben: We figured we’d just do it first try because we’re hardcore.
RS: How long did you train for?
Kia: Train? We’re both pretty athletic to start out with so we didn’t really need to train.
B: I did hold my hand in the air for twenty minutes a few days beforehand to make sure I could though. (more…)
In December of 2009, Sam Stilson and Craig Morrison of Toronto, Ontario set out to create an original, inspiring, and hilarious world record. Their achievement, “Longest High Five,” marked the first in a trilogy of high-five epics. “Longest” refers to the distance separating each high-fiver as they begin their high-five. The high-fivers move towards each other before connecting hands at the approximate midway point of the distance that separates them. Below is the original record, set two and a half years ago:
Stilson and Morrison’s flamboyant attire demonstrated their willingness to challenge themselves. Their decision to not wear gloves was ensured the high five’s authenticity, as well as its superior aural quality. Despite the distraction of their visible breath in the frigid conditions, the duo was able to complete a high-five after running a combined distance of 3.3 km.
A year and three months later, the world record title of Longest High-Five found a new home, halfway around the Earth. Matt Kelly and Dave Thompson of Brisbane, Australia became the first tandem to challenge and break the record.
Again, attire was a focal point. Kelly’s running shorts and Thompson’s shiny split-color track pants, although an eyesore for any passerby, were an important part of their psychological preparation. “We’re wearing better* pants than those guys,” Thompson proclaimed before embarking on the attempt. “Cannot be beaten,” added Kelly.
*It remains undetermined what exactly Dave meant by “better,” but if “better” is Australian slang for “horrific,” then his point is valid.