A 10-year-old Filipino-American kid in California crushed a record held by the best swimmer on the planet, Michael Phelps.
Salinas fifth-grader Clark Kent Apuada has wanted to beat Phelps’ 23-year record since Apuada started his career as a competitive swimmer …at age 7, like first grade.
“I was so motivated. I was so happy and relieved that I was able to beat that record,” the boy told Huffington Post.
Not surprisingly nicknamed ‘Superman,’ here’s what you need to know about Clark Kent Apuada:
1. When he Was in First Grade, Apuada Made a List of Swim Clubs, Researched Swim Records & Decided to Beat Them All Including the Biggest Fish
Cynthia Apuada, Clark’s mom, told reporters her boy was a super motivated goal-setter. When he set a goal, he went for it. When he was around 6 years old, he began to gather a list of area swim clubs he could join. And she said her son “started memorizing the records other swimmers were setting,” according to HuffPost.
The family chose the Monterey County Aquatic Team, actually Clark did. At just 7-years-old, he said, ‘Look, Mom, Michael Phelps has a record in the Far Western. I can beat that.’
According to a report, Clark was ill for a few days before the championship meet July 29 and his parents were concerned but the kid, a super boy, soldiered on and swan in an effort to beat Phelps’ 1995 record. And he did it; by 1 second.
2. Yes, He’s Named For the Superhero & Apuada Turns Out to be a Super Swimmer, So Superman Just Fits
So the story goes that Cynthia and Chris Apuada named their son Clark Kent by design. Cynthia told reporters she liked the name Clark and her husband Chris’ favorite superhero is Superman. So when their first child was born, it felt natural for them to name him Clark Kent.
“We’re always just telling people his name is Clark. But when they realize his full name, people just call him Superman,” Apuada told a reporter.
He’s a “superman in the water” and is “living by his name at this point,” she’s quoted as saying.
3. This Wasn’t Just a Record-Breaking Swim, This Was The Record-Breaking Swim
Apuada took first place in all the ‘men’ under 10 swim events he competed in at this year’s Far Western Long Curse Championships held in Moraga, Calif.
Apuada swam the 100-meter butterfly in 1:09:38, 1 second faster than Phelps’ time, at the same event and in the same category albeit 23 years ago, with a time of 1:10.48.
According to the official meet records, among the championship swim meet events in which Apuada placed first include the 100-meter back-stroke where his time was 1:15.79, first place; the 50-meter back stoke completed in 33.17; the 100 meter free in 1:04.39; the 50 meter free in 29.21; the 50 meter fly in 31.99; and of course, the record-shattering 100 meter butterfly in 1:09.38.
4. The ‘Future Phelps?’ The U.S. Olympics Team Asked in a Tweet
Phelps, whose first time at the Olympics was at age 15, is the most decorated Olympian in history. Phelps has won 28 medals. So that Apuada crushed Phelps’ record at age 10 is, well super. At the Far Western Long Course Championships, when Apuada beat Phelps by 1.1 seconds, scorekeepers announced it to the crowd.
“Everyone in the crowd was thrilled when they realized what a special swim they had just witnessed when we announced the long standing record had been broken,” Cindy Rowland, PacSwim’s administrative director told HuffPost.
Apuada said his next goal is set: “Paris 2024 or Los Angeles 2028. This record has motivated me to keep swimming, to keep striving and do everything I can to get to that elite level,” he was quoted as saying
From a Loving & Close Knit Filipino-American Family, Apauda Has Set His Sights on the Olympics, But This Superboy Also Wants to be a Scientist & a Black Belt, Too
Clark’s parents are Cynthia and Chris. He has two younger brothers. The above is a December 2017 photo of her sons she posted on her Facebook page. A close-knit family, Cynthia has documented the boys’ Christmases.
By the time he was 4, Clark had already become a good swimmer and by the time he was 7, began to swim competitively.
According to a report from CBS where Apauda’s coach was quoted, the boy who beat Phelps first said his goal was to “be a scientist.” Next was to be an Olympic gold medal winner representing America and then, earn a black belt.
“He’s on track for all three of those,” coach Travis Rianda told CBS.