Hey, if they ever try to set another record for largest number of people doing handstands simultaneously, like they did last Friday afternoon on Monument Circle, try to approach from the opposite side of the monument. That way, when you come up over the steps, the first thing you’ll see is a sea of toes, swaying like pink anemones. Well, they did it. One thousand and seventy-two people managed to invert themselves for the required 10 seconds, with a decent number of showoffs going longer. Famed gymnastics figures Bela Karolyi, Courtney Kupets and Blaine Wilson were there, and apparently the president of the country was in town, too.

Kerrie Esmeier, a coach with Interactive Academy Gymnastics, enjoyed taking part, and predicted that the record would stand “forever.” I asked if she saw President Bush anywhere on the field of participants, tie dangling over his nose, but she said no. She did stress, though, that there were different “levels” of handstanding, and she feels that with the right training he could definitely do it.

The Simultaneous Handstand World Record Attempt was a prelude to the 2005 Visa Championships, Aug. 10-13 at Conseco Fieldhouse. Get tickets at the Conseco box office or Ticketmaster.com.

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