25 August 2008

Speedy Steven Purugganan

Steven Purugganan
Do you know that there is a eleven-year old Filipino boy in the U.S. who is considered as the multiple world record holder in the latest sport craze in America - Sport Stacking?

Yes, there is one such boy and his name is Steven Purugganan. Steven who lives in of Longmeadow, Massachusetts holds two world records which he set by winnng the World Sport Stacking Championships in Denver, Colorado.

What is more admirable about Steven, aside from his amazing hand and eye coordination, is that he did not let success go to his head. He just set out doing what he likes to do and even wants his fellow pinoys to enjoy it as well.

"He's a very normal kid," Steven's mom, Vicki, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer just moments after the Purugganan family arrived from in the Philippines at dawn last 18 August 2008.

"But I have to say that once he puts his mind into something, he just would not stop. He practices and practices. There's a certain calm about him. He doesn’t get rattled by mistakes. He just pursues it. He has a very positive attitude which is good."

Father, Dan, describes Steven as "Very athletic. He’s a basketball player, he’s good in baseball, he has a sweet golf swing and he swims very well. He’s very good in school, a straight A student. So for him it’s easy. And he likes to play the violin. He’s a well-rounded kid.”

Sport stacking (formerly known as cup stacking and commonly known as speed stacking) is an individual and team activity played using plastic cups.

It originated in the early 1980s at a southern California boys and girls’ club and received national attention in 1990 on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The sport was invented by Wayne Godinet. He was the man who invented the first formations and gave the name to the Cup stack (Karango Cup Stack).

Shortly thereafter Godinet formed a group called Cupstack. Later he worked together with the physical education teacher Bob Fox. Early competitions were held in 1998 in Oceanside, California and Denver, Colorado. Later Bob fox developed the sport and invented new formations and competitons, he also invented the annual World Sport Stacking Championships and founded Speed Stacks.

Participants of sport stacking upstack and downstack cups in pre-determined sequences, competing against the clock or another player. Sequences are usually pyramids of three, six, or ten cups. Proponents of the sport say participants learn teamwork, cooperation, ambidexterity and hand-eye coordination.

Tournaments are governed by the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA). In 2004, the WSSA changed the activity’s name from cup stacking to sport stacking in an attempt to give it “immediate identification as a competitive sport.”

This is what Steven and his siblings, Andrew and Brian, hope to promote in a demonstration yesterday (24 August) at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City. All three are members of Team USA.

Many took notive of Steven's talents, including fastfood giant McDonald’s, which currently runs a US commercial featuring his feat. He has also been invited to guest in the popular US late night program “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” next month.

“He found his niche,” said Dan. “But the nice thing about this is it’s not just about stacking. It’s about building confidence and developing focus and concentration.”

Check out below his youtube video when he set blistering times of 1.86 seconds in the 3-3-3, 2.34 ticks in the 3-6-3 and 6.21 seconds in the cycle stack individual events during the 2008 World Sports Stacking Championships in Denver, Colorado last April 2008 to know what his father is talking about.