A pair of Cirque du Soleil performers stepped right up to the plate as they each smashed a world record between live shows.
Oyun-Erdene Senge (Mongolia) and Lucie Colebeck (UK) are currently in London with the world-famous circus, which has turned the Royal Albert Hall into a big top for show Alegría.
With our London HQ just down the road, we took the opportunity to stop by and challenge the stars to break some records.
Stepping on to the stage at the prestigious venue, Adjudicator Megan Bruce was on hand to oversee contortionist Oyun and trampolinist Lucie’s record attempts.
And they both smashed it, walking away as Guinness World Records title holders just hours before they’d be back on the stage to perform for a packed crowd.
Oyun performed the most contortion roll push ups in 30 seconds (female), beating the previous record of 21 with her total of 24.
And Lucie flipped her way to the most back handsprings on a trampoline in 30 seconds (female), a brand-new record with a minimum of 25, that she obliterated with a total of 36.
First up was Oyun, who demonstrated her mind-boggling flexibility by essentially folding herself in half and tucking her feet underneath her armpits.
She supported her weight on the palm of her hands and performed as many push ups as she could in the allotted time.
Her arms had to bend to at least a 90-degree angle, and some of her push ups were excluded from the count, but that didn’t matter.
She told us afterwards: “I was a little bit nervous in the beginning because it’s such a short time, but when you’re doing it, it actually feels like a lot.
“The contortion roll push up requires a lot of strength so I could really feel it towards the end in my muscles.”
She added: “It feels so great to break the record, I’ve been doing these push ups since I was six years old and contortion almost 22 years now so it’s part of my daily life and it was such a cool challenge for me.”
Oyun has been performing with Cirque du Soleil for 20 years and says doing as many contortion roll push ups as she did requires years of training.
It was her mum who first spotted her potential and took her along to a contortion class in Mongolia. She went on to build a career out of it, joining the circus company when she was just 11 and travelling the world.
Lucie took to the stage next to flip as many times as she could on her impressive track trampoline – a big feature of the live show.
Lucie smashed the record on her first attempt with 36 back handsprings, but she was disappointed that she hadn’t managed to keep going for the full 30 seconds.
After stopping a few seconds shy of her allowed time, Lucie had a second attempt, but it wasn’t as good as the first.
She said: “It feels absolutely amazing to have broken this record. It’s such a phenomenal feeling to be a part of Guinness World Records – it’s really awesome.”
Explaining more about her record attempt, Lucie said the move is one that she does in Alegría, but with one very big difference.
She said: “We do it in the show, however in the show we only do five in a row, so to be able to attempt to do as many as possible in 30 seconds is quite a difficult thing to do and I’m really glad that I successfully accomplished it.”
Lucie, who has been performing with Cirque du Soleil since 2018, added: “I do get really dizzy when I do these. When we do five in the show, you get dizzy when you’re finished so I got to about 25 and started to get dizzy but I let my body take over.
“It actually does feel like you’re flying when you’re in the air, even though it’s really quick it almost goes a bit slow motion so there are moments when I do feel like I’m flying.”
Lucie has been doing gymnastics since the age of nine and admits a move like this one can become more and more dangerous as you build momentum.
She was moving so quickly during her attempt that she couldn’t hear what was going on around her and couldn’t tell if she’d already been told to stop.
That meant she did end her attempt a little early, but still claimed the title anyway.
Adjudicator Megan said: “I knew the cast of Cirque du Soleil were good, but seeing these record attempts in person and up close was something else.
I was amazed by the level of flexibility and upper body strength shown by Oyun-Erdene and Lucie’s attempt was lightning fast as she managed to beat the record with at least five seconds to spare.
“Congratulations to both performers for breaking such physically demanding record titles.”
Cirque du Soleil: Alegría is at the Royal Albert Hall in London, UK until 3 March, before heading on to various locations in Spain, including Barcelona, Madrid, and Malaga. Find out more and book tickets here.
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