Record-Making Man Finds New High at Angkor

Ashrita Furman, holder of more Guin­ness World Records than any other man, has rebroken the re­cord for the number of times in one min­ute that a human can skip rope while on a pogo stick.

Assuming his record is accepted by Guinness, Furman scored his 98th­ record in front of Angkor Wat on Tuesday.

“I wanted to do something at Ang­­kor Wat, and I thought this would be the best thing because it doesn’t take a lot of preparation and it’s over very quickly,” he said Wed­nesday. Often his records require a surveyor becase they occur over great distances, such as running 80 km while juggling, which took him just under nine hours, or somersaulting almost 20 km.

Furman, who broke his own previous record of 156 pogo skips in one minute with his Angkorean per­formance of 173 skips, said he is attempting to attain 100 world re­cords by the end of September.

While he has broken 97 or 98 re­cords depending on Tuesday’s performance, Furman currently only holds about 30 records because he has been overtaken by other re­cord-breakers, he says.

Furman holds other pogo-related records: longest continuous distance—over 37 km; the fastest km—12 minutes; and fastest time po­­go- jumping up the 1,899 steps of Toronto CN Tower—57 minutes and 51 seconds.

“One of the things I’m doing lately is finding interesting landmarks to break records at,” Furman said.

Before his visit to Angkor Wat, he had already broken records at the Great Wall of China, Stone­henge­, Mount Fuji and the Egyp­tian pyramids, where he walked ov­er 11 km while balancing a pool cue­ on his finger. He realized his dream of breaking records on all seven continents in May 2004 when he raced a kilometer in 14 minutes and 25 seconds while hula-hooping.

“I invented that here” in Cam­bodia, Furman said. He walked 8 km while hula-hooping last time he was in Cambodia, but Guinness re­jected that record and would accept only a fastest kilometer while hula-hooping record.

Fur­man, who is a 50-year-old health food store manager in New York, credits his record-breaking a­bi­l­ity to Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual lead­­­er and meditation teacher from Bang­ladesh based in New York.

Sri Chinmoy travels about once a month, and Furman is able to travel for free because he arranges the tours, he said. Sri Chinmoy was in Cam­bodia this week to meet with Hun Sen on Tuesday and present him with a medal of peace.

“I find myself in these exotic plac­es, and I use it to break a Guin­­­ness record,” Furman said. “Break­­ing Guinness records has be­come a part of my spiritual discipline.”

“I was never athletic, but since I start­ed meditating I was filled with all this energy,” Furman said. “I de­cided to focus it on something positive like breaking a Guinness re­cord, which had been my dream since I was a kid.”

Nonetheless, Furman recogniz­es the light-hearted nature of some of his records.

“I walked 128.75 km with a bottle of milk balanced on my head,” he said. “That was pretty silly.”


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