Old Forge resident and OFHS grad Brandon Gatto sets the Guinness World Record for most jumping jacks in a minute at Old Forge Veterans Memorial Stadium last Monday night.photo by rick notari
Last Monday was National Sports Day. So there was no better fitting of a way for Old Forge’s Brandon Gatto to celebrate the holiday than with jumping jacks.
The Penn State University grad and University of Pittsburgh Law School student was looking for a way to promote physical fitness and exercise, while at the same time etching his name into the Guinness Book of World Records.
He decided jumping jacks was the way to do both. One-hundred and four jumping jacks to be exact.
“You ask ‘Why’?,” said Gatto trying to catch his breath a few moments after his record-setting attempt. “I ask, ‘Why not?’ I never really had a reason. It’s not for a cause or anything like that. I look at it as a general promotion of exercise. I always knew it was going to be a physical fitness related record.
“And I am proud to do that in a community that has a well established and longstanding tradition of athletics and athletic excellence. That has a lot to do with the good job our educators do – our physical education teachers at (Old Forge High School) and our coaches of all of our athletic teams here.”
Originally, the former Blue Devils 1,000-yard tailback wanted to do pushups for a Guinness World Record. But the folks at Guinness told him the standard of pushups is too hard to measure. So Gatto jumped at the chance to set a standard where one was lacking.
“I wanted to do pushups, pushups in sixty seconds,” said Gatto. “But Guinness told me that the standard is so tough to count so I looked for something else. I was surprised to find that they didn’t have a record for jumping jacks, which really didn’t make sense to me. If you look up on Google there are claims here and there – which are not necessarily official – but there are people trying this out. They just haven’t filed it with Guinness.
“So I am happy to be the first one for them.”
Gatto set his sixty-second record in front of about two dozen people, included family, friends and former coaches at Old Forge’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. Part of the requirement for the record to stand was the presence of media, along with video taping of the event which needed to also be supervised by two judges.
“Off the record the goal was 100,” said Gatto. “But I am happy with 104. It is better than most of, if not all of the unofficial claims. I think it is a good marker to set for being the inaugural record for Guinness.
“If someone breaks it tomorrow, they break it tomorrow. But I think it’s a good start.”
Gatto will now submit pictures and video to Guinness, along with all of the necessary paperwork before he can officially be recognized as the Guinness Book of World Record holder for jumping jacks in a minute – and possibly the first Old Forge resident to have his name listed in the book.
“I never looked into the history of Old Forge record breakers,” said Gatto. “To be honest it’s the first I’ve heard of it. If (Old Forge) does already have someone it wouldn’t surprise me because a lot of good things come out of this small town and I have the good fortune of being a part of it.”