Famed sport juggler to appear at BSSG’s opening ceremonies

2001-07-18T23:00:00Z Famed sport juggler to appear at BSSG’s opening ceremonies The Billings Gazette
July 18, 2001 11:00 pm

Gazette Staff

Sport juggler Albert Lucas, will attempt to break the world record in the 400 meter hurdles at the Big Sky State Games Opening Ceremonies on Friday night at Daylis Stadium.

The Guinness Book of Sports Records honored Lucas when he was given the title of “Greatest All-Around Juggler of the 20th Century.” This multi-talented sports juggler also has the distinction of holding the title of “The Greatest Juggler on Ice.” He even juggles while ice skating.

At the age of 10, Lucas won his first gold medal at the World Juggling Championships, juggling seven rings in world record time – 61 seconds. In 1984, at the World Joggling Championships, he won his first sport juggling race in the 100 meters in record time – 12.5 seconds. In fact, between Lucas and fellow sport juggler Owen Morse, they have turned in the 10 fastest 100 meter times in sport juggling history.

In 1987, Lucas began running in marathons starting with the New York City Marathon. He has joggled 12 marathons, with a personal best time of 3:29.17. The last marathon he won was in 1996, when he was honored with an invitation to Athens, Greece to joggle their 100th Anniversary Marathon.

Maintaining a disciplined training regiment has allowed Lucas to compete in a wide range of joggling events. This distinction was never more evident than in 1993 when he won an unprecedented five gold medals at the World Championships. In recent years Lucas has set world joggling records in the 110 and 400 meter hurdles. His joggling 110 meter hurdle time of 17.59 seconds would have won him the gold at the 1896 Olympic Games.

The history of sport juggling goes back over 4,000 years, with the earliest depictions found as Egyptian hieroglyphics on the walls of a royal tomb. There is evidence that the Greek and Roman cultures practiced juggling. From its earliest days, juggling has been practiced as both art and sport.

In the modern era, a form of sport juggling called club swinging became an event at the 1904 Olympic Games. Edward Henning (US) won the first gold medal and George Roth (US) won the last gold in 1932. In the 1936 “Nazi Olympics,” in Berlin, juggling was withdrawn, largely due to the fact that many of the top practitioners were of Jewish descent.

The International Sport Juggling Federation is the governing body for historical and current joggling and juggling achievements. The ISJF has been formed to develop sport juggling for today’s athletes, with the hopes of repatriating the sport as an Olympic event. Sport juggling was brought to public attention by Norris McWhirter, founding editor of the Guinness Book of Records, who listed achievements in the sport in his first publication of 1957. In later editions, Guinness began listing joggling records as well.

Another milestone was in 1985, when the late Fred Lebow gave joggling its own category in the New York City Marathon and it was featured on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” Since then, joggling has evolved to encompass a variety of track events ranging form the 100-meter dash to 5,000-meter run, relay races, and the 400-meter hurdles.

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