Canadians may be a modest lot but they’re known for striving, blazing trails and pushing the envelope.
That’s what Calgary resident Rob McLeod will do when he journeys to China later this month to set a Guinness World Record … for Frisbee throwing.
“Ever since I was a kid I bought the Guinness Book of World Records through the school book order,” McLeod says in a news release to promote his attempt. “I dreamed of one day having my name on those pages.”
McLeod, originally from Woodstock, N.B., will appear on a popular entertainment show on China Central Television that broadcasts Guinness World Record attempts to a reported national audience of 50 million.
He will be the first person to set a record of the most targets hit with a Frisbee in one minute – 50 cans set up on a special 26-metre-long table.
Guinness already has two Frisbee records on its books: Most times for a dog to catch a flying Frisbee in three minutes, set at 11 by Italy’s Nicola Ratti and her dog Ciaki in 2010, and most behind-the-back catches in a minute – 16 by Americans Scott Perkins and Casey Dunn, set in 2009.
“I want to expose more of our Chinese audience to the art of playing Frisbee,” Liu Ming, director of the program Zheng Da Zong Yi, said. “With Rob attending our show this year, we are very glad and honoured.”
McLeod, 29, is the Skyhoundz Xtreme Distance World Champion and holds the world record in the men’s classic division with his dog, Davy Whippet.
Before you start rolling your eyes, you should know the Frisbee-throwing as a sport has a long, storied history.
The flying disc known as the Frisbee reportedly dates back to the early years of the 20th century when New England college students who gobbled up pies from the Frisbie Baking Company found they could amuse themselves with games based on tossing around the empty tin plate.
According to About.com, a pair of Los Angeles entrepreneurs developed a plastic version that flew further and with more accuracy, which was dubbed the Pluto Platter because of Americans’ fascination with UFOs in the 1950s. The inventor sold the rights to the Wham-O toy company, which dubbed the new toy Frisbee.
Wham-O marketed the Frisbee as more than a summer-day time-waster, promoting Frisbee-playing as a new sport. It produced a “professional” model in 1964, and three years later some New Jersey high-school students invented Ultimate Frisbee, which combined elements of football, soccer and basketball. The 1970s saw the creation of Frisbee golf.
The U.S. military also experimented with Frisbees as potential weapons, spending $400,000 to test them in wind tunnels and launching them from a Utah cliff.