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Cypriot man shatters wine glass balancing record

Aristotelis Valaoritis, a 62-year-old security advisor from Cyprus, has broken the Guinness World Record for balancing the most wine glasses on one’s head.

Image credit: Guinness World Records

Glass dancing, which involves moving around while balancing glasses on one’s head, is a popular form of entertainment at Cypriot weddings and other such special occasions.

However, now there’s a new champion of this tradition.

In total, Valaoritis successfully carried 319 empty wine glasses on top of his head, a significant improvement on the previous record of 270, set in 2022 by Ntinos Kkanti, also of Cyprus.

The nine trays of glasses weighed some 30 kilograms, and Valaoritis was able to keep them from falling, while he danced around, for more than double the 10 seconds required for the record to be valid. Guinness World Records pointed out that moving while the glasses are in place is not a requirement of the record.

Valaoritis said of why he chose this high-stakes hobby: “I enjoy doing it, I see the spectators’ faces full of tension and agony like they’re watching a movie.”

Though he has been doing his balancing act for crowds, particularly in restaurants, since 1995, Valaoritis trained for the record by strengthening his neck to deal with the burden. One exercise he often did was to hang a 50kg barrel of sand from a tree and balance it on his head for five minutes each day.

He does not intend to stop with the record he has just set – Valaoritis now plans to set the records for most glasses balanced on the head in a single stack and most whisky glasses balanced on the head. While neither record has a current holder, in order to achieve these, he must balance 25 for the former and 270 for the latter.

“I want to prove to everyone that I can still do it, and I like the challenge,” he said. “I feel happy that at this age, nothing is impossible, so never give up.”

Empty wine glasses is one thing, but carrying more than a dozen steins full of beer in the throng of Oktoberfest is another skill entirely.

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