As It Happens

Oregon teacher breaks world record for 'swuggling' — swimming while juggling

It's not easy swimming on your back while juggling five balls in the air, says Bob Evans.

Bob Evans is awaiting Guinness certification after completing 101 catches without interruption.

Bob Evans, a Grade 5 teacher at Pacific Ridge Elementary School in Oregon, says he beat the world record for 'swuggling' — which is a combination of swimming and juggling. (Don Frank Photography)

This story was originally published Sept. 11, 2020.

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It's not easy swimming on your back while juggling five balls in the air, says Bob Evans.

The Oregon elementary school phys-ed teacher has spent months training to break the world record for "swuggling" — swimming while juggling. 

"It is very difficult to swuggle," Evans told As It Happens host Carol Off. "The first days of swuggling training were basically just trying not to drown."

Last week, during an event live-streamed by the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District in Seaside, Ore., Evans beat the record for most juggling catches whilst swimming with five objects.

Evans successfully pulled off 101 catches during the event. The previous record, according to his Guinness application form, is 25. 

"Twenty-six would have done it," he said with a laugh. "But I want to make it harder for the next [person], if there is one."

Once confirmed, this will be Evans' third official Guinness World Record. (Robert Frank Photography)

Evans is already a multiple-record holder with Guinness. He secured fastest mile while bounce-juggling three basketballs in 2019, and fastest mile juggling backwards with three objects in 2017.

He also says he and his wife, Trish, are among probably only a handful of people in the world who have juggled through an entire triathlon.

"I love to train. I love to learn. I've always been an athlete. I studied psychology at university, so I'm interested in in how people learn, and I love physical challenges," he said.

He also likes to impress and inspire his students.

"The Guinness Book of Record is a huge deal when you are working with five-, six-, seven-, eight-year-olds," he said. "And so what I always try to do is model healthy living for my students."

Still, he admits, none have followed in his footsteps when it comes to swuggling.

"I've had plenty of students, probably hundreds, if not thousands, that have learned to juggle from me. Some students are now better jugglers than I am, which is awesome," he said. "But I haven't gotten anyone to get in the pool yet."

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes. 

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