A Los Angeles police detective broke the world record today for the longest Ferris wheel ride, spinning round and round for a total of 25 hours and 30 seconds on the famous Santa Monica Pier in California.
Gus Martinez, a 28-year veteran of the LAPD, began the ride yesterday for a good cause, raising funds for the Special Olympics of Southern California. Martinez, who coaches and mentors in the Special Olympics, said the ride was inspired by his son Jason, a 23-year-old with Down Syndrome who has won more than 30 gold medals in swimming at the Special Olympics.
"None of it is about me," Martinez told KABC. "It's about Special Olympics. They can accomplish anything, and they should be looked at and treated like any other teenager, any other child. They don't have limitations."
Martinez boarded the Ferris wheel at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and finished his journey at 8:20 this morning. The ride wasn't simple. There were strict rules he had to follow to break the record, including only 5-minute bathroom breaks every hour and no sleeping.
"It's just an accomplishment that I never expected, I never thought I'd have this opportunity," he told KABC. "It just feels great."
Martinez made sure his ride would be comfortable, setting up his flat screen TV, iPad, cell phone and a solar panel for electricity. At the end of his ride, Martinez was greeted by his son, family members and a swarm of media. He was quickly awarded a plaque from Guinness World records and carried the Special Olympics torch with his son.
The torch was handed off to Santa Monica Police officers, who will watch it this weekend on the pier until the Special Olympics begin next Saturday in Long Beach, Calif.