11-year-old Cen Xiaolin can move his legs faster than most people can count. The boy recently set a new rope skipping world record by completing a whopping 108 skips in just 30 seconds!
That’s so fast that you can’t even see the rope. In fact, judges at the first World Inter-School Rope Skipping Championships, in Dubai, simply couldn’t keep up with him. They were unable to count Cen’s steps while he was skipping, as it was all a bit of a blur. They had to rewatch the footage in slow-motion eight times to verify the exact number of steps. Later, he broke another record by skipping 548 times in three minutes.
Cen said that he learned skipping at his school, Seven Star Primary, located on the outskirts of Guangzhou city in South China. The school started giving teachers and students skipping lessons in 2012, and it seems that they take the game rather seriously. All students are required to practice skipping 1.5 hours a day.
The school’s gym teacher, Lai Xuanzhi, actually analyzed 200 skipping videos before developing the ‘half squat jump’ style. He also integrates dancing, Chinese martial arts, and gymnastics into training, to help students get faster and better. And his hard work has paid off – the school won 27 of the 28 gold medals, along with the group championship at the event in Dubai. Interestingly, coach Xuanzhi says that he isn’t good at skipping himself.
Speaking to Chinese media, Cen offered a tip for skipping enthusiasts who’d like to up their game: “The trick lies in swaying the rope very, very fast, while keeping your upper body very steady.” Wanna try?