Well, I am not an expert on the intricacies of flying trapeze, but I have just spent the last half an hour intently studying this YouTube clip in slow motion, and it appears – unnoticed by the rest of the world – a new record has been set. The quintuple somersault, or ‘The Five’!
I will admit that I was dubious at first, as a Google search does not provide any other mention of this incredible feat but, following a quick tutorial on how to slow down YouTube videos, I was able to compare Han Ho Song’s acrobatics with those of Bruno Vargas – the fifth man to have performed the quadruple. By Jove, I think he’s got it!
The posted video claims that Song, of the North Korean National Circus of Pyongyang, performed the quintuple more than 25 times during their run at the 21st World Christmas Circus (‘Weltweinachtcircus 2013/14′) in Stuttgart – a production that prides itself on presenting record-breaking acts from around the globe. With the help of google-translate I can see that the festival homepage also confirms this extraordinary world premiere, and I wonder why the English speaking media is so far behind? If this was a record in any other field – Olympic athletics for example – I’m sure it would not have gone unreported for so long!
Back in 1990, the New York Times posted an excellent article on ‘the quest for the quintuple‘ by the Flying Cranes, who were never able to achieve their goal. Since then, however, it seems radio silence has descended on the world media.
The National Circus of Pyongyang won a Silver Clown at last year’s Monte Carlo Festival, and it’s a shame they’re not returning this month for a chance at the gold with their latest feat.
Thanks to Circus Geeks for posting the video first and bringing it to my attention; now I suppose we wait for the rest of the world to catch up?