Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Homepage

October 18, 2012

World records are serious business at Guinness

This has been a big year for world records.

On Sunday, Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a capsule that had been lifted 24 miles above Earth by a balloon. When he landed safely four minutes later, he had set five world records, including one for the greatest free-fall distance.

And during the summer, Michael Phelps broke the 48-year-old record for the most Olympic medals.

You can bet both of those feats will be included in a book that keeps track of all kinds of statistics: "Guinness World Records." The Guinness book, which is updated every year, is filled with the biggest, fastest, oldest and some of the strangest things people have done to get attention. (Last year, 1,039 people at Kings Dominion set a record for the most people dressed as vampires.)

You might wonder how Guinness checks all the records. That's where Mike Janela comes in. The 27-year-old is head of the U.S. records management team for Guinness. He and eight other people examine evidence, write rules for new records and sometimes travel from their home base in New York to verify records in person. Each team member has a specialty.

"I'm a sports guy," says Janela, who wanted to be a television sports commentator when he was a kid. "I started in sports-specific records. That's my area of comfort and expertise."

So he has been on hand when some interesting sports-related records have been set. One of Janela's most memorable was Gary Saavedra's 2011 attempt to surf for the longest time and over the longest distance.

"He wanted to do it in open water" instead of in a wave pool, Janela said. "He was able to secure the Panama Canal. . . . I'm on this boat. I'm sitting here with a GPS tracking him. He almost hits four hours — three hours and 55 minutes. . . . Finally his leg muscles gave out. But he was totally fine."

Text Only
Local news
Beauty Spot of the Month

Local Sports
Online Extras
Opinion
Entertainment
Homepage

Business Marquee
Must Read
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
House Ads
More
Weather Radar
Video Gallery
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content
Poll

Will you be following the Olympic Games?

A. Yes
B. No
C. Only some events
     View Results