82-year-old B.C. resident sets Guinness World Record as oldest man to perform a headstand

Bruce Ives is pictured performing a headstand in B.C.'s Haida Gwaii last August, setting the Guinness World Record for being the oldest man to perform the move. (Submitted by Megan Romas - image credit)
Bruce Ives is pictured performing a headstand in B.C.'s Haida Gwaii last August, setting the Guinness World Record for being the oldest man to perform the move. (Submitted by Megan Romas - image credit)

A man from B.C.'s Haida Gwaii archipelago has won the title of the world's oldest person to perform a headstand.

The Guinness World Records has confirmed Bruce Ives, 82, set the world record in Daajing Giids (formerly Queen Charlotte) on Aug. 7, 2022.

Born June 25, 1940, Ives says he has been doing headstands since he learned gymnastics at age 15.

More than 40 years later, he started a tradition of doing a headstand every year on his birthday.

"In my 60s, when my grandchildren were around in my lawn in the summertime, I just gave it a shot to get them involved in gymnastics as well," Ives told guest host Bill Fee on CBC's Daybreak North.

"It just grew from there — it became a custom on my birthdays, June 25, to have a grand group of grandchildren in the front yard trying to do headstands."

Breaking record set by 75-year-old Quebec man

Ives says in order to set the Guinness world record, he needed to hold a headstand for at least 15 seconds with some witnesses present.

In the presence of two Mounties, a yoga instructor, a high school principal and his grandchildren, Ives says his headstand lasted 25 seconds on his home yard.

WATCH | Bruce Ives performs his record-breaking headstand:

His feat breaks the previous record set by Quebec man Tanios Helou, then 75, on Oct. 16, 2021.

Even so, Ives says he could have done much better.

"On other days when it's quieter, I've done it for about a minute," he said. "There's quite an audience, and it was a windy day, [so] I had a bit of a problem holding steady."

For people who want to try turning their body upside down, Ives recommends doing it slowly on soft grass.

"I get down in a squat position on my knees and put my hands down just behind my knees, and then tilt my head forward till I hit into a V-shape," he said. "Then I put my feet up."

Ives says he cannot do handstands forever, but he will try to stay active and avoid sitting at home watching too much television.