How old are you Johann? Johann Mendes informs you that he is 17 years, three months and 14 days old. This autistic genius has broken the Guinness World Record for naming the most capital cities in 60 seconds. Within a minute he named 52 cities and broke the previous record of Robert Clarke from UK,who named 50.He was awarded the Guinness World Record certificate on Thursday at the Dubai Centre for Special Needs.
Johann, still shocked by the win,said “I didn’t think I would win. I have been practising for months and I never got above 50 capital cities in one minute. So when I was told that I got 52 on the actual thing I was surprised. I said ‘oh my god I broke the record’!”.
Since Johann had already memorized 180 capital cities,the difficult part was not naming them. Rather,the challenge for him was the short time duration. He had to name more than 50 cities in 60 seconds to break the previous record. Samer Khallouf, Project Manager, Middle East and North Africa, Guinness World Record said he succeeded in breaking the record on May 20 after four attempts.
Johann,the wonder kid,who can recall the birthdays of most of his classmates, teachers and school staff,is also getting ready for breaking a second record,the most flags named in 60 seconds. His amazing memory has also helped him to memorize the entire calendar from the 20th to the 22nd century.
Johann,a role model for everyone, has proved that children with autism are capable of achieving great things. His message to his community is “People should never think that they are not capable of accomplishing their dreams. Every person is capable, all that they have to do is practice.”