Colin Sullivan admits it’s a pretty strange talent.
In many ways, this 21-year-old from Montgomery is just like most people his age. He’s amiable and funny, and has an easygoing way about him. He’s studying at Northern Illinois University to be a physical education teacher, and has a career in sight.
But he can do something not everyone can: Colin Sullivan can balance things on his chin. Big things. Like the eight-foot ladder with which he hopes he set an official world record on Saturday.
Sullivan’s been chin-balancing for years – his father did it when Sullivan was younger, and he just picked it up, he said. He started small, performing in school talent shows, but his balancing skills have taken him to the Ellen Degeneres Show and Live with Regis and Kelly. He won a talent competition on the latter program, which got him $20,000 and a lifetime supply of Trident gum, he said with a laugh.
One thing he’s always wanted to do, however, is set an official Guinness world record. And on Saturday, he believes he may have done it.
There is no current record for balancing an eight-foot ladder on one’s chin, so according to Guinness regulations, Sullivan had to perform the feat for at least one full minute. Before an awestruck crowd at the East View Kindergarten Center on Route 71 on Saturday, he managed it for two minutes and 31 seconds.
Now it’s up to the Guinness officials. The Oswegoland Park District helped to verify the record, and according to Kristie Vest, special events coordinator, the paperwork involved was intense. Those documents, plus a video of the attempt, will be sent to Guinness headquarters in New York, and within three to four months, Sullivan should know if he’s made the record book.
Sullivan doesn’t know how far chin balancing might take him, but he said that as long as people continue to come out to see him, he’ll keep doing it. Saturday’s accomplishment, he said, is a big one to check off the bucket list.
“I’ve always wanted to set a world record with that big dumb ladder,” he said. “Dear Guinness, please take my record.”