Brothers head-over-heels at new world record

HÀ NỘI — The famous acrobat brothers, Giang Quốc Cơ and Giang Quốc Nghiệp, set a new world record in head-to-head balancing on December 23 in Catalonia, Spain.
The Vietnamese artists, with Nghiệp balancing atop Cơ’s head, climbed 100 stairs in 53 seconds at Girona Cathedral, the same venue where they set their previous record of 90 steps in 52 seconds in 2016.

Giang Quốc Cơ and Giang Quốc Nghiệp (on top) set a new world record of head-to-head balancing and climb 100 stair in 53 seconds at Girona Cathedral in Catalonia, Spain on December 23. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen
Giang Quốc Cơ and Giang Quốc Nghiệp (on top) set a new world record of head-to-head balancing and climb 100 stair in 53 seconds at Girona Cathedral in Catalonia, Spain on December 23. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen

Giang Quốc Cơ and Giang Quốc Nghiệp (on top) set a new world record of head-to-head balancing and climb 100 stair in 53 seconds at Girona Cathedral in Catalonia, Spain on December 23. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen

“I and my young brother Nghiệp cannot hold in our feelings. We cried after completing the mission,” Cơ told Việt Nam News.
“The Girona Cathedral has 90 stairs so the Guinness World Records organisation built 10 more for our task. The new stairs were a different height and material to the church ones. We were not allowed to practise on them, as the organisers added them just a few minutes prior to the record-making moment.”
The brothers said they were both nervous but tried to remain calm before the event.
“We made use all of our experience and skill to maintain our normal breath and keep our footstep rhythm at an average speed, which helped us to be successful,” said Cơ, the older brother.

The Giang brothers on the top stair, after completing their new world record mission. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen
The Giang brothers on the top stair, after completing their new world record mission. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen

The Giang brothers on the top stair, after completing their new world record mission. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen
Cơ and Nghiệp arrived in Spain on December 18 and had five days to practise.
Unlike their previous time, the duo had problems during training. The cold and wet weather, around 2 degrees Celsius, made them shiver, while the slippery stairs prevented them from walking smoothly.
As social distancing is being applied in Catalonia, gyms were closed and the brothers could not exercise to stay in top shape.
Jet lag was also a challenge, which left them struggling in their first training session.
They could only climb 70 stairs on the first day but it gradually improved over the following days. One day before the record attempts, the Giangs walked 90 stairs.
“We knew we had just 10 steps more to do, and with our speed we believed we could make it. Just 10 steps, but it was not simple. My brother Cơ suffered a lot. As the walker, he had to spend a lot of energy climbing (and holding me on top). The last 10 stairs were really big challenges,” said Nghiệp.

Giang Quốc Cơ was under pressure as the walker spends a huge amount of energy on climbing. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen
Giang Quốc Cơ was under pressure as the walker spends a huge amount of energy on climbing. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen

Giang Quốc Cơ was under pressure as the walker spends a huge amount of energy on climbing. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen
Both brothers were not in the best condition before going to Spain, due to long-term injuries. They had agreed the attempt at the invitation of the Circus Arts Foundation in November, and had only a month-and-a-half to practise together.
“It had been a long time since we performed in front of international spectators but we are confident to perform with a ‘proudly made in Việt Nam’ spirit,” said Cơ.
“Many Vietnamese living in Spain came to encourage us, while people at home strongly support us. These were a great push for us to bring home the new record.”
Cơ and Nghiệp made another record in Italy in 2017, the fastest time to descend and ascend 10 stairs while balancing a person on the head (blindfolded), which they achieved in 53.97 seconds.
The brothers will remain in Spain for some days, joining artists from other countries for performances during Christmas and New Year. They will fly back to Việt Nam on January 2.

The Vietnamese duo celebrate their new record at the door of Girona Cathedral. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen
The Vietnamese duo celebrate their new record at the door of Girona Cathedral. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen

The Vietnamese duo celebrate their new record at the door of Girona Cathedral. — Photo courtesy of Hai Vu Nguyen
In an exclusive interview with Việt Nam News, artist Cơ said the Catalonia show would be their last international record.
“You know, the time for people working in the circus is not long. I am 37, five years older than my brother. We are getting old. At our age, other acrobats have retired,” said Cơ.
However, they still have plans in Việt Nam.
“We want to have a live show for Vietnamese people as a big thank to those who have supported us for so many years. We will also work on projects to popularise Việt Nam’s circus tricks among international friends; organise programmes to spread a positive lifestyle among Vietnamese youth; and open classes for people who love acrobatics,” said Cơ.

By teditor

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