A careful balancing act: Laval man with autism sets another Guinness World Record with a soccer ball
MONTREAL -- With no clear end in sight for the public health restrictions in Quebec more than a year into the pandemic, one Laval man has used time in confinement to set a second world record.
This week, Daniel Wassef received an official certificate in the mail confirming he had broken the Guinness World Record for the longest time balancing a football -- or soccer ball -- on the toes.
He broke the record on April 19 with a time of one minute and one second -- just a second over the previously held record.
"It felt so great, it felt like it motivated me to do something great," the 23-year-old Liverpool fan said Friday in an interview.
"I've been bullied, I've been harassed in the past at school and it wasn't an easy thing because everybody kept telling me you’re not going to achieve this, you’re just a dumb person. I have autism, and if one autistic person can do something great like this, I don't see a reason why I shouldn't do it."
It’s not the first time his name has been entered into the record books.
Last May, he broke the Guinness World Record for the most soccer ball toe taps in one minute with 151 taps, although Konok Karmakar of Bangladesh shattered that record in December with 198 taps.
However, he’s determined to set another one: breaking the record for the most soccer ball "hotstepper" tricks in 30 seconds, currently set by Areej Al Hammadi, in the United Arab Emirates last July with 86 steps.
Wassef, an avid soccer fan who has been playing since he was 10, has a special message for everyone watching him:
"If anybody tells you you can't do it, never stop," he said.
Another Quebecer, Karim El Hayani, also broke the world record for running a half-marathon barefoot on snow or ice in March, while the Gamache brothers Bobby and Mathieu broke the record for continuous World of Warcraft play in April.