A group of disabled athletes from Cape Town are furious that their attempts to set a Guinness World Record for spinning was sabotaged by one of the charity organisers involved in the event.
The group of six blind athletes, two wheelchair bound athletes – who cycled on adapted stationary bicycles – and seven able-bodied athletes, attempted to set a Guinness World Records by spinning on stationary bikes for 24-hours.
Yet their attempts in November last year at the Kranking Fitness Studio at the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront were in vain as the local organisor Spin4charity apparently failed to submit supporting video footage and documents recording the attempt.
The team is “very bitter” and “devastated”, said paraplegic participant Carl Greyling, who is a manager at Guts2glory – a non-profit organisation that raises funds for disabled and underprivileged athletes and cyclists.
The matter came to light when Guts2glory founder Lee Wyser who also took part in the attempt, followed up with the London-based Guinness World Records last month.
Wyser said the Guinness World Records told her they hadn’t received any documentation to support their claims.
“I am devastated by the fact that what we were lead to believe that four Guinness World Records were broken and this is not the case. The blind athletes were placed under much duress by having to keep the wheel spinning and at the same time get on the bike,” said Wyser.
She said not only the athletes deeply disappointed but so were the sponsors, the public and everyone involved in the “spectacular event”.
She said her organisation and its members trusted the Guinness World Record representative Spin4Charity founder Anthony Van Rhyn.
Van Rhyn admitted that the disabled athletes had every right to be upset with him as he did not submit the required documentation to Guinness World Records in London as he had run five competitions concurrently and could not handle all of them.
“They have every right when they hear my name to feel disgusted,” said Van Rhyn.
“I failed to present documentation. It’s my negligence with regard to the overall event and documentation. I apologise,” he said.
Yesterday Guinness World Record account manager in London, Annabel Lawday, confirmed communication with Wyser in May informing her no documentation to support their claims had been received.
Aubrey Preston owner of Kranking Fitness at the V&A Waterfront said he span on a Kranking cycle for 24 hours in the hope of helping to set the first record for the Krank cycle machine.
“I started (Kranking) on Saturday November 24 at 11am and finished on Sunday November 25 at 11 am. I m very disappointed that all my attempts were not even seen by Guinness World Records,” said Preston. — Peter Luhanga