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Canadian achieves world record, becomes oldest man to record headstand

By Simon Druker

May 12 (UPI) -- A 75-year-old from Quebec has become the oldest man on record to successfully perform a headstand, Guinness World Records confirmed.

Tanio Helou, who goes by Tony, achieved the world record on October 16, 2021 at the age of 75 years and 33 days, according to Guinness Wednesday, which has been measuring and compiling world records since 1955.

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Helou lives in the small municipality of Deux Montagnes, around 25 miles north of Montreal, where he would often walk on his hands in his younger years, after immigrating from Lebanon at age 30.

He began a concerted effort to start training and live a healthier lifestyle at 55, and once he mastered the skill of holding the inverted posture, started performing all over town.

While he doesn't necessarily seek out attention, he doesn't back away from it either.

"I'm not shy about performing headstands," Helou told Guinness in an interview.

"My friends think I am very strong, and my family worries I may hurt myself but that hasn't happened."

He says the biggest challenge the day of the record-setting performance, was making the adjustment and executing on concrete, after rain caused a last-minute switch away from soggy grass.

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Once news of the world record broke, it spread quickly through the population of 17,000.

"I told two of my neighbors and by the end of the day, the whole neighborhood knew about it," Helou jokes.

At 75 now, his daily routine involves waking up early for a 20-minute run, followed by a post-coffee headstand and 20 pushups.

Those close to him can't remember a time when he wasn't performing the feat.

His daughter Rola Helou recalled her father giving her a bicycle for her 15th birthday, which was a surprise in more than one way.

"We were at a park having a picnic and my dad rode up to us on my new bike, except he was doing a headstand on the bike as it was rolling," she remembers.

It was at that moment, given his age, Rola realized how unique his ability was, encouraging him to get in touch with Guinness.

"When he retired 10 years ago, he did not know what to do with himself because he had always worked so hard," said Rola.

Now, even though Helou performs the daily routine for health benefits, he's also basking in the attention.

"My dad admittedly also likes the attention he gets as an older person doing a headstand. People often react with awe," says Rola.

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