On Nov. 7, Mir received an email confirming that his diabolo throw of 78 feet 5 inches at the Holiday Inn on 66th Street in Ocean City more than two years ago is a world record.
The previous record for the diabolo, a Chinese yoyo, was 65 feet.
Mir, who turns 53 in December, learned to juggle at age 10 and has been a popular performer in the area for two decades. His act combines comedy, illusions and motivational speech as he juggles rhythm sticks, diabolo, fire diabolo and fire torches.
He said fans encouraged him to pursue the world record after seeing his act at the Holiday Inn, where he performs on the tennis courts just outside of the eight-story building.
“I kept throwing [the diabolo] up and they kept saying, what’s the world record?” Mir said. “For the last seven years during the summer, I’ve been there, twice every Thursday and Sunday at 10 in the morning.”
He looked up the record in 2015 and realized he was breaking the world record by about 10 feet every week.
Mir began what turned out to be a two-and-a-half-year-long process of documenting his throw and submitting his evidence to Guinness.
“I had to have video of the attempt and I had to have eyewitnesses write a letter saying they saw the throw,” he said. “I got two people to be the witnesses and I had a camera operator on the sixth floor and my wife was on the ground floor.”
He initially submitted a video that was edited to show a smooth throw, but then discovered that Guinness requires raw footage to confirm a new standard.
The initial application also included original architectural drawings to show the height of the building as a reference point, but Mir learned that was not certifiable and had to get a videographer to record a survey of the building.
“I had to have two eyewitnesses to make sure that he did it, and I had to have the surveyor give a certified witness letter and all his credentials to make sure he was certified,” Mir said. “In the process, there were mistakes that I made, many times.”
Finally, he received an email saying the new record was approved. About a week later, the official certificate came in the mail.
It reads, “The highest diabolo throw is 23.92 m (78 ft., 5 in.), and was achieved by Carlos Mir aka Cascading Carlos (USA) in Ocean City, Maryland, USA, on 9 July 2015.”
“My feeling was of joy and of excitement,” he said. “For two and a half years I waited and I knew I did it, but hadn’t gotten that certifiable acknowledgement.
“Also, it kind of gives me that inspiration that, no matter how old you, you can still get goals for yourself to achieve,” Mir continued. “I was basically 50 years old when I attempted that, and what was really neat was the date of the attempt was my mom’s birthday. I was able to give that little accolade to my mom for all she did for me as a child. She read to me so much and she was always there, picking me up when I fell.
“I also want to say thanks to my wife Heather for all the support in the last 20 years in standing behind my passion and encouraging me to the best I can be,” he added.
Mir said it was also a career highlight, sharing the spotlight with the 2006 Jefferson Award he received for volunteer contributions in the Delmarva region.
“It’s the same level of feeling – honor, excitement, credibility, validation,” he said. “I don’t consider myself the best juggler – there’s thousands better than me. But maybe my passion is stronger and that can override my skill level.
Since last December, Mir has made a living off of his act, performing regularly at local libraries, during events in downtown Berlin and throughout Worcester County, and during the summer at weekly hotel residencies including the Holiday Inn and the Commander in Ocean City, the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Chincoteague Island, Virginia, and Bethany Beach Suites and Dewey Beach Marriott in Delaware.
“One thing I really love about juggling is it takes you out of the grind of the world of the day and it brings you into the moment,” he said. “When you juggle you release all the stress, you release all the anxiety that you might have, and you give your brain a break.
“Anyone can juggle – it doesn’t matter how old or how young, how heavy or how light,” he continued. “I’ve worked with autistic kids and they’re very successful at juggling. It doesn’t matter where you are, it’s just being shown how to do it, and once you learn how it’s easier to practice and you don’t get as frustrated.”