A lot happened in 2021. Some of it broke world records, inspired creativity and revealed wonder.
Guinness World Records told USA TODAY as of September 2021 there were 58,000 verified entries this year, according to a spokesperson. Guiness World Records receives about 1,000 entries a week that are later verified.
Some people spent the year pushing their talents to the limits. In Demark, Dutch creator Wilfred Stijger and 30 sand sculptors designed the world’s biggest sandcastle, more than 69 feet tall. In Vermont, a woman became the record holder for most consecutive days to run a marathon distance after running 95 marathons in 95 days.
Three days before she turned 100, a great-great-grandmother from Florida became the oldest competitive female powerlifter.
“We all just do our thing … and show the world what we can do,” she told USA TODAY.
Here’s a look back at the world records broken in 2021.
Most premature baby survives:Boy who weighed less than a pound at birth named world’s most premature baby to survive
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Guinness World Records and announced in November that Curtis Means, who weighed only 14.8 ounces at birth, set the new record. Curtis was born 132 days premature on July 5, 2020 with a twin who didn’t survive.
Dr. Brian Sims, who was the attending physician at UAB Hospital, said statistics show that children born so young have virtually no chance of survival, but Curtis beat the odds.
“We do not know what all the future will hold for Curtis since there is no one else like him,” Sims said. “He started writing his own story the day he was born. That story will be read and studied by many and, hopefully, will help improve care of premature infants around the world.”
Designers in Denmark have created the world’s biggest sandcastle, which stands more than 69 feet tall. What does it take to build a sandcastle this big? Over 5,000 tons of sand. The creation beats out the previous biggest sandcastle in Germany by more than 10 feet, according to Guinness World Records.
With the help of 30 sand sculptors, Dutch creator Wilfred Stijger said he created the sandcastle in July 2021 to represent the power the coronavirus has held over the world. The top of the sandcastle is a replica of the virus in the form of a crown.
“It’s ruling our lives everywhere,” Stijger told The Guardian. “It tells you what to do. … It tells you to stay away from your family and not go to nice places. Don’t do activities, stay home.”
Rumeysa Gelgi stands at 7 feet tall and 0.7 inches and has once again broken a Guinness World Record, this time for the tallest living woman. At just 18, Turkey’s Gelgi was titled the tallest teenager living in 2014, according to The Guinness World Records.
Gelgi has an extremely rare condition known as Weaver syndrome which causes accelerated growth amongst other abnormalities including skeletal maturation.
Her message? “Every disadvantage can be turned into an advantage for yourself so accept yourself for who you are, be aware of your potential and do your best.”
Alyssa Clark, a 28-year-old from Burlington, Vermont ran 26.2 miles every day for 95 consecutive days, breaking the world record previously set for running 60 consecutive days from March to July 2020. Her motivation? “I just felt like running,” she said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic placed everyone under quarantine, Clark put her training as an ultra-marathoner into overdrive.
“Not everyday has to be perfect or fun,” she wrote on her Instagram page after a long run at Big Sur. “I say this more to show grinding is ugly sometimes and motivation can’t be the only driving factor.”
On National Brownie Day, Massachusetts-based cannabis company MariMed, Inc. unveiled their new creation: a pot brownie weighing 850 pounds.
MariMed, Inc.’s pot brownie dropped on the same day of its new edibles bakery brand, Bubby’s Baked. The brownie contains 20,000 milligrams of THC and it measures 3 feet wide and 3 feet, 15 inches tall. The world’s previous largest brownie was 243 pounds, according to the Guinness World Records.
How many ingredients did it take to create the brownie? 1,344 eggs, 250 pounds of sugar, 212 pounds of butter, 5.3 pounds of vanilla extract, 81 pounds of flour, two pounds of baking powder, three pounds of salt, and 122 pounds of cocoa powder.
Guinness honored Edith Murway-Traina as the oldest competitive female powerlifter on Aug. 5, just three days before her 100th birthday. Surprisingly, the Tampa, Florida native didn’t even start lifting until the age of 91 when her friend talked her into joining an exercise program to fend off osteoporosis.
Once an instructor taught her how to lift, “before I knew it, there I was pushing up this bunch of iron I had no use for and no idea of what to do with,” Murway-Traina said.
What’s her secret? I do remind them that I make sure that I have Geritol in the morning and I have martinis at night. That keeps me going.”
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda
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