We’re hoping this makes next year’s Olympics.
A long time ago, when Guinness had run out of all feasible and logical world records to track, someone up there decided that in order for something to qualify as a “world record”, it didn’t have to be useful. It didn’t have to be practical. What’s more, it didn’t have to be something anyone in their right mind would attempt to do, ever, for any reason other than getting a world record out of it.
And that’s how we get world records like this.
The record holder is Yane Petkov, who, according to an article by Reuters, is a 64-year-old Bulgarian swimming instructor and lifeguard. Petkov claimed the record by swimming over 3,300 meters in a lake in Macedonia. The previous record holder was an Indian man named Gopal Kharvi, who swam just under 3,100 meters, though not in a sack (The original record only required tied hands and feet).
Kharvi has held this record for some time, and had previously claimed it just three months after Petkov’s first attempt. However, Petkov is confident that this record will live on for significantly more time.
The swim was far from impromptu – the people at Guinness take even their silliest of records very seriously. The swim was observed by several Guinness officials, was sponsored by the Red Cross and two local water sports clubs, and featured medical teams on-site.
Petkov’s form is even more bizarre: He was placed in the sack face-up (thank god) and feet-first, and completed the 3.3 kilometer swim with his feet out in front of him, slowly worming his way across the calm waters over the course of 3+ hours. He was brought to a stop not through exhaustion, but through his contact with the shore of Ohrid, a popular holiday resort located on an ancient town.
Petkov’s inability to see where he was going might have resulted in him being set off-course at some point during the swim, resulting in a distance totaling 3.3 kilometers rather than the originally planned 3.5.
With his latest achievement, the Bulgarian man will once again earn his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Here’s to hoping he gets a sizable chunk of page, too – He definable deserves it.