HAVANA – In the boondocks of central Cuba, Christian Enmanuel Castellanos dreams of catapulting to stardom not through the traditional means of baseball or music, but his unusually extended and flexible shoulder blades.
Earlier this week the 22-year-old claims he broke the Guinness World Record for pulling a car with mighty scapulas, dragging the 2,425-pound vehicle 27.3 yards down a road in his home town of Sancti Spiritus.
Earlier this year, Castellanos says he crushed between his shoulder blades no less than 82 beer cans in a minute, beating the Guinness record by 14 cans.
For a third time, he is awaiting word from the Guinness folks in Britain, having been previously rejected twice for technical reasons, for example not submitting the size of the cans.
“My dream is to transcend Cuba and become known worldwide through a show like I’ve Got Talent,” he said.
Trainer Mario Cesar Quesada, 17, has been friends with Castellanos since junior high school when he crushed cans to attract his peers.
“People are amazed, it’s not a talent like jumping and hitting a ball. It’s not a talent like running. It’s a somewhat strange talent: he does contortionism; he crushes cans; he pulls vehicles,” Quesada said.
Local journalist Felix Suarez, who has acted as a witness to the stunts, expressed confidence Castellanos was destined for the record books given his determination and physical quirk.
“He wants all the records that depend on the strength and flexibility of shoulder blades,” Suarez said, pointing out Castellanos was already training to lift weights with his blades. Then there were records for the most crackers and CDs crushed just waiting to be smashed.
But for now the only record holders who need to worry about the Cuban are Abhishek Choubey from India (pulling a car) and Fabrizio Milito from the United States (crushing cans).
“I know there are people who show off their shoulder blades,” Castellanos said of the competition.
“But going for a Guinness record was born in me and everything is on the right track,” he said.