It was all for naught. After attempting to break the Guinness World Record for backflips, 16-year-old Atlanta student Mikayla Clark thought she broke the record after performing 44 back handsprings back to back along her high school track. But the record books haven’t recognized her achievement.

A spokesman for the renowned record book told The New York Daily News that a Guinness World Records rep “was not there to verify,” meaning that Clark’s record is invalid.

Several news outlets reported that Clark did indeed break the record, but now they’ll have to back pedal.  According to Guinness the actual backflip record is held by a woman in Texas.

“Another woman from Texas bested this by doing 53 back handsprings,” the spokesperson said, but it hasn’t been publicized because it will air on a t.v. special this fall in the U.K.


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  • Miss A

    Hmmmmmm…how convenient…..

  • Naan

    Of course I don’t want to take away her ambitious nature to achieve for high things but I am with Guiness Records on this one.

    As someone who has no intentions to break any record even I know that Guiness is adoment about “being there to verify”. They use this excuse all of the time especially when people say “actually I am the tallest man/woman/person.” Whenever there is a talk show featuring someone who is breaking a record they always point out the person who is there on behalf of Guiness.

    Basically: homework was not done properly on the cheerleader’s part if she wanted to specifically be acknolwedged by Guinness and use the publicity that “Guiness World Record title” gives.

    • Kam

      Oh I thought a Guinness Rep was there and it was all official. Yeah you can’t get the title unless a rep is there to verify and it’s done according to their standards. But she was still awesome though!

    • Naan


      Also I want to stress that GWR doesn’t hold the inalienable right to say who can hold a record. She can do 200 flips and truly hold the record.

      They have just built a strong reputation for witnessing, verifying, making sure all of the measurements are correct for record breaking.

      It is their reputation that makes them a “reliable witness” and why people/media look at them as THE “trusted source”.

      Yes there is video of this event but video can be manipulated so they probably have extremely high standards for accepting videos where there wasn’t a witness on their behalf. For instance, they would probably acknowledge a record broken by a professional athlete recorded in a game in only the most major leagues. Your local news station? No.

  • Her cheerleading coach must have not been aware that she was attempting the record. That would seem to be her repsonsibility to contact the GB of WR so they could set a date for her challenge.

  • Anthony

    Wow, I wish I still had anywhere near that sort of explosive power in my body!