Students break Guinness World Record

Ian Kohler (’18) and Ian D’Elia (’18) broke a Guinness World Record on March 21. The two students, along with their fathers, travelled to eight capital cities in Europe, breaking the world record for travelling to the most European capitals in 24 hours. The pair travelled to Vienna, Prague, Paris, Budapest, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bratslava and London.  

The previous record for the title was held by Barnaby Davies, who visited seven capital cities in one day in January 2015.

Kohler and D’Elia first had the idea to break the world record from their fathers, who originally had planned to make the trip themselves.

As the Guinness World Record is regulated to protect the safety of people, contestants need to be 16 or over. “We thought that there would be no point of us going but eventually we thought that if we didn’t get the name in the record book, it would be worth it just to do it,” D’Elia said.

However, D’Elia and Kohler found a loophole around being able to have their names featured in the book. “Alan’s and my father have found a solution to include all six names: Since Alan and his father have the same name with the exclusion of II or III, they just did not include it at all so that both of their names could be in it. Me and my father have fixed this problem by telling Guinness that my dad’s middle name is “Ian” so it will say John ‘Ian’ D’Elia,” D’Elia said.

Prior to making the trip, careful planning had to be done by arranging public transport and finding flight connections. Kohler and D’Elia both recognized the importance of timing when trying to break the record for most visited capital cities and the cost of the planning of the trip. “Our fathers have been planning it for a year and a half since November 2013. So it was a lot of work to do it and it would be sad to not do it with so much planning.”

The trip had its setbacks as well. “It was a day before we were supposed to leave and our flight got cancelled. It was really important for the trip.  Kohler’s dad replanned the whole first flight and the last city so we still visited eight cities and ended up being 30 minutes more efficient than the original plan,” D’Elia said.

Friends and family stood proudly waiting for Kohler and D’Elia upon their arrival to London after they had visited the eight cities. “Our last capital was London so when we came back home from Paris, they were all waiting for us outside with our family banners and they were just showing their appreciation for what we had done. On some of the banners it said ‘world record holder’ so it drew lots of attention from the public.”

Kohler and D’Elia believe that some records can be broken if carefully planned. They feel that anybody can break certain records that require careful planning if they are willing to do it. “After they scheduled the transport, it was so conveniently arranged that is was impressive how much they have done to work for it and I that work was worthy of winning the record,” Kohler said.

Another step in order to acquire a Guinness World Record is to have evidence, such as the photos from the trip. Proof is required by the Guinness World Record in order to prove the breaking of a world record. As a result, D’Elia and Kohler took hundreds of pictures in each of the eight capitals and by putting together 100 video clips to send to Guinness World Record.

With the planning and uncertainty of making their record official and achieving their goal, Kohler is not opposed to try to break more world records, “I don’t know if we will be breaking more records but I would certainly like to, if I can.”