Guinness World Records refuses to recognize youngster's record-breaking gymnastic hang

There is no doubt that Helena of Leeds, 8, completely mashed the supposed world record for dead hanging, as published in the Guinness Book of World Records. Her filmed 35-minute hang is about three times the length of the 12-minute one recorded there. But the company is refusing to honor Helena's achievement because she is a child and children are ineligible to break the record.

Helena's family and her local MP have both called on the organisation to re-think their ruling. …Her parents said when Guinness World Records first gave them information on how to submit evidence of Helena's record-breaking attempt, the company made no mention of an age limit. Only when they sent off the footage of their daughter breaking the record were they told she was too young.

It's good to be reminded once in a while that the Guinness Book of World Records is a booze advertisement that got out of hand and is now stuffed with paid-for made-up records that it has no obligation to tell the truth about anyway.

Would-be record breakers that paid fees ranging from US$12,000 to US$500,000 would be given advisors, adjudicators, help in finding good records to break as well as suggestions for how to do it, prompt service, and so on. In particular, corporations and celebrities seeking a publicity stunt to launch a new product or draw attention to themselves began to hire Guinness World Records, paying them for finding a record to break or to create a new category just for them. As such, they have been described as a native advertising company, with no clear distinction between content and advertisement.

It seems implied (but not confirmed) that the dead hang record is part of this advertising scheme, along with the "largest cake in the Jeddah mall" one held by Betty Crocker, etc. Here's another thing children are ineligible for: contracts.

I guess what happens now is that some b-tier pro gymnast does it for hours just to show off, and everyone ends up slightly less happy than they are now.