This is an interview with Mr David Ventura, president of a new Non-Profit Organization, Official World Record, an alternative registry of world records, like a Guinness World Records of the 21st century.
Mr. Ventura, what is exactly Official World Record, and which are the differences with Guinness World Records?
Official World Record is a world record register founded in Vic (Spain, European Union), in 2010, and is the first Spanish world record register, and worldwide it’s the direct competitor of the other reference world record register, the Guinness World Records. The difference between the two registers is that Official World Record is much younger, founded in the 21st century, fast and with more accordance criteria to today's society, and the Guinness is older and with criteria that are sometimes seen outdated. As an example we have the recent case of a nurse who ran the London Marathon with a current dress from her hospital and that the Guinness did not recognize for not being dressed in skirt, apron and cap, and that Official World Record registered. For this and other reasons, Official World Record is taking great worldwide prestige and recognition that has led it to break some Guinness records, such as the largest Spanish tortilla in the world or the rugby melee with more participants.
When was founded OWR?
In 2010, the first year of its existence, it had more than 50 world records registered, among others, the largest flag in the world deployed at the Camp Nou in August 2004.
Which are the most important world records registered?
The organization has registered many other records from around the world such as the biggest rugby melee in the world held in Madrid or in the same city the record of penalty kick (inclusive) with the Sanitas Foundation during the Week of Inclusive Sport. Also other important records made in America such as the largest number of apartments sold in less than 20 hours by Jürgen Klaric, or the world's largest poetry book written in Puerto Rico are just a few examples. As well as medical records in South Korea and the Philippines with knee operations or very elderly patients, or other more conventional records but no less spectacular as the largest diamond in the world or the tallest building. A variety of categories make up its database of world registries, specializing in inclusive records often starring extraordinary people with some kind of physical impairment.
How did you got a worldwide prestige?
Since 2015 OWR is recognized and registered as a trademark, with logos included by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) with the number 013986054. And it is recognized by the Council of Notaries of the European Union (CNUE). It is the only register of world records classified as an NGO since 2019, and according to its statutes, with the name Official World Record Association is constituted as a non-profit associative entity. And it is financed through the collection of fees for the certifications made by its official adjudicators. Any world record to be officially accepted must pass through its International Acceptance Committee and comply with the regulations of each specific record to be accepted, validated and officially registered by the adjudicators, which issue certificates and trophies for each record.
Which are the purposes of the association?
The purposes of the association are: Promote, verify, catalog and register world records. Its authorized members award, verify and validate the authenticity of world records, elaborate the regulations to establish them and to overcome them. Promote world records among non-profit organizations, NGOs, for charitable purposes, and for people with disabilities or fundamentally social problems. As a basic tool to make social causes more known, or promotion to raise funds for entities aimed at providing services to the community. Promote inclusive world records, where no one is excluded from being able to star in a world record due to suffering some kind of disability or physical or psychological problem. Making a record is breaking people's boundaries to reach a goal of collective improvement for the human condition, and everyone is able to go further and exceed their own limits. Promote what each person can contribute to the rest of humanity. In addition to this, one of the purposes is also to help disseminate exceptional places and events from around the world to society in general to help the dissemination of culture and collective knowledge. For all these reasons and purposes to develop, the association has been considered an NGO since its maximum purpose is to help achieve personal improvement and disseminate cultural facts of collective interest.
How do you get the world record database?
OWR has a database of world records that periodically publishes on its website, both human achievements and exceptional facts of the world. The adjudicators work on the database by making research worldwide. Official World Record has increased its database and knowledge worldwide by working closely with other registers of local records such as the Korea Record Institute (KRI), the leading record register authority in South Korea. The Korea Record Institute is their exclusive representative in South Korea, and records that are registered through KRI may choose to be recognized worldwide by Official World Record. It also sponsors other organizations such as Everest World Records (EWR), the leading record register authority in Nepal or the Universal Record Forum (URF) leading record register authority in India.
Why do you decide to start a new world record register?
The origin of Official World Record was based on the knowledge that some of its founders had of the extreme slowness of the Guinness and the unwillingness to register some records following absurd or outdated regulations that the company had. Thus, these people ended up considering the creation of the first registry of inclusive records and without prioritizing commercial parameters of business interest, and finally in 2010 the new Official World Record entity was officially born with a much more modern mentality, of the 21st century.
In fact, the expulsion of Norris McWhirter, who served as a Guinness consultant in 1995 and the subsequent decision to sell the Guinness World Records brand, has favored the spread of the hypothesis that the orientation of the Guinness book is changed. According to this hypothesis, it seems that the Guinness World Record has ceased to be a reference book to become a simple sample of the most commercial records or for the ones that pay more money to promote themselves. This change means that most of the world records no longer appear in the book or the web, and can only choose to appear through a written request to Guinness with the proposal. All this added to the appearance of Official World Record has created a new style in the register of world records at the beginning of the 21st century.