Any day of the year makes for a perfect time to support and celebrate women.
However, today marks International Women’s Day, a global initiative celebrating the incredible achievements of women everywhere.
To mark the occasion, we’ve revisited our jam-packed archive of record breakers to bring you the stories of eight amazing women.
Widest mouth (female)
Sam Ramsdell first entered the record books for having the world’s largest mouth gape (female), and she continues to celebrate her uniqueness.
The 32-year-old Norwalk, Connecticut, USA, resident has a mouth that stretches to a massive 6.52 cm (2.56 in), and she's even gone viral on TikTok thanks to her sizeable jaw.
On 29 November 2022, Sam was also verified as having the widest mouth (female), being able to extend it open to 10.33 cm (4.07 in).
Sam admits she never imagined that her mouth would make her famous, but she’s glad it did.
Some of the things Sam can fit in her mouth include a whole apple, an orange, a giant cookie, a wine glass, and an entire portion of McDonald's Large French fries.
As a child, Sam was subjected to cruel bullying because of her unique feature.
Other kids would make fun of her and call her 'big mouth bass girl'. However, Sam is now proud of her big mouth.
“Being 31 and being able to get a record for something that really I was so insecure about, something that I wanted to keep so small, it’s great because now it’s like one of the biggest, best things about me.”
Despite the teasing, Sam eventually learned to love and accept her larger-than-average mouth, and now hopes she can inspire others to embrace the parts of themselves that make them truly unique.
She now uses her TikTok account as a creative outlet for her comedy skits and foodie feats – an idea that has earned her a following of over 3.5 million people.
“You know getting a Guinness World Records title, it’s finally being almost able to show some of the bullies or people who doubted me, or tormented me, that hey – I have a big mouth but at least I have the biggest one in the world!”
Shortest woman living (non-mobile)
Wildine Aumoithe may not be grand in height, but she sure is in personality.
The 19-year-old from North Miami Beach, Florida, USA, holds the record for the shortest female living (non-mobile).
Confirmed on 13 October 2021, Wildine was measured at just 72 cm (28.3 in) tall.
And Wildine’s main motivation for obtaining the record was to inspire other little people to embrace their differences and live life to the full.
"I want to show the world that even though I am short I am able to live my best life and I can conquer this world even though this world was not built for me."
She is also proud to be the first Haitian-American to hold a shortest woman world record.
Wildine has an extremely rare type of dwarfism known as SADDAN dysplasia.
This particular type of dwarfism also makes it difficult or impossible to walk, which means she mostly relies on a motorised wheelchair to get around.
Despite the hand she was dealt, Wildine has a positive and determined outlook on life.
Thankdully, Wildine says she has never been bullied because of her height.
"Height is just a number. Just because I’m a little person doesn’t mean I’m different to anybody else. I’m still human at the end of the day."
Wildine started a YouTube channel called Life Of Wildine in February 2020 to show people how she lives her life as a little person, and to help spread awareness about her condition and issues around disability representation.
As well as running her YouTube channel, Wildine is also a college student studying pharmacy.
She hopes her achievements will prove to the world that little people can lead fulfilling lives, just like everybody else.
Longest locks (locs)
Asha Mandela's impressively long hair has earned her the record for the longest locks (locs).
The 60-year-old Clermont, Florida, USA resident’s locs measured in at 5.96 m (19 ft 6.5 in) on 11 November 2009.
Today, Asha’s luxurious locs are even longer and according to her bio on Instagram, now measure up to 33.5 m (110 ft).
Asha first began growing out her locs over 40 years ago, and today they weigh 19 kg (42 lb).
"I don’t like the term dreadlocks because I don’t think there’s anything dread about my locks."
Asha says the process of growing out her famous tresses was part of a spiritual quest to change her life.
However, not everyone was on board with Asha's decision at first, including her two sisters, who didn't like the "Rasta business or the dreadlock stuff", as Asha put it.
Despite taking some convincing, they came to accept and embrace Asha's hairstyle and lifestyle.
Asha says curious onlookers will frequently approach her with very personal questions about the cleanliness of her hair.
"As much as they like the way I look with my locks, most others would say there’s no way that could be clean or healthy because how can you really wash locks properly if it’s all knotted hair."
However, she says the number one tip for maintaining healthy locs is to keep them clean and show them love.
After four decades of carefully maintaining them, Asha doesn’t have any intention of cutting her locs off as she sees them as an integral part of her identity.
"I will never see or feel that there’s a time I would want to cut my hair. It's never going to happen."
First woman to row on the southern ocean
Lisa Farthofer of Austria rowed 407 nautical miles (468.3 mi; 753.7 km) on the open waters in Antarctica from 11 to 17 January 2023 to become the first woman to row on the Southern Ocean.
The 31-year-old professional sailor and rower was part of an expedition alongside Fiann Paul (Iceland), Mike Matson (USA), Jamie Douglas-Hamilton (UK), Stefan Ivanov (Bulgaria) and Brian Krauskopf (USA).
The team – on board rowing boat Mrs Chippy – set off to row 1,500km (932 m) from the Antarctic Peninsula, past Elephant Island, and to South Georgia, but sadly had to halt the expedition due to sickness and injury among the team.
“I think nowadays you have so many more possibilities and you can see the physical evolution of women, you see it in high performance sports as well, gymnasts for example are doing tricks that no one would have imagined they could do,” said Lisa, on becoming the first woman to do what she did.
“It’s also emancipation. Back in the day I don’t think any woman would have thought about going to Antarctica, it was seen as a man’s world.”
But Lisa’s record-breaking achievement did not come without its battles.
While visiting Antarctica, Lisa suffered from frostnip and even broke a few toes.
It hasn't put her off the idea of going back though.
“A project like this really gives you a taste of how beautiful our world is and how little we know about it, so it does make you want to see more. And knowing that we didn’t fully fulfil our project, it is hard to leave it at that.”
Lisa is now back at home and is enjoying taking hot baths and indulging in some traditional Austrian food after living on freeze-dried meals on board the boat.
After working as a professional sailor and rower, she said an extreme expedition like this was never something she thought she’d attempt.
But now that she has, and especially since they couldn’t complete the journey, Lisa admits she’s thinking about getting back out on the water.
Fastest time to visit all sovereign nations
After seeing everything from the ancient pyramids in Egypt to the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, Taylor later trekked to every corner of the globe to become the new record holder for the fastest time to visit all sovereign nations (overall and female) with a time of 1 year 189 days.
"After my final summer internship spent working in New York on Wall Street I just took a step back and realized I did not want to spend my life doing something that I didn't love," she explained.
"I had recently finished a semester studying abroad in London where I was able to travel to 20 countries. I have always loved travel and wanted to visit as many places as I possibly could. And, one day, it all just sort of clicked - I want to work in travel, someday I want to visit every country, and I want to inspire others to travel as well."
Taylor's goal is to encourage women to travel solo, and it was that dream that encouraged her to break this record.
She travelled solo for weeks at a time, meaning self-doubt would often slip in, and she'd worry about not achieving the record in time.
Putting her doubts aside, she reached her final country, Canada, on 7 December 2018, where she celebrated the close of her world exploration with friends and family.
"My biggest takeaway from this entire experience is how similar everyone around the globe really is. I harp on this a lot because I truly think it is so important for everyone to know and try to understand. Some of us were born into incredibly lucky circumstances and some of us were not. We had no say in that matter, but we do have a say in how we live our lives,” said Taylor.
“Universally, everyone I met was so incredibly kind and generous. I was always blown away when people who had almost nothing of material value would share what little they had, even if sometimes that was just a conversation."
First female quadriplegic racing driver
Nathalie McGloin (UK) is the first female quadriplegic racing driver in the world and also works to inspire others as a public speaker.
There is truly no limit to what Nathalie can do once she sets her mind to it.
Nathalie was involved in a car accident when she was young that left her paralysed, and she never dreamed that she'd go on to become a professional racing driver.
“I broke my neck, which means I’m paralysed from the chest down,” Nathalie explains.
“My fingers don’t work properly, and I have limited triceps function as well.”
Nathalie is not just the first female quadriplegic racing driver, but she's also the only disabled woman with a race and rally license in the UK.
"I love to see the shock on people’s faces when I get out of the car, and they see that I’m a woman and I’m on a wheelchair. They are like: 'what?!'”
Nathalie’s car is fitted with radial hand controls that she uses to accelerate and brake, leaving one hand free to steer.
The set-up means she can mix the accelerator and throttle for greater control of her car.
Today, Nathalie juggles many commitments other than driving: she is an ambassador for equality, the president of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission, and a public speaker.
Oldest tandem parachute jump (female)
Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson (Sweden) had a very specific dream - to become the world’s oldest parachutist - and she smashed it!
At the age of 103 years 259 days, she embarked on an amazing freefall and broke the record for the oldest tandem parachute jump (female).
She completed her jump with the help of parachute expert Joackim Johansson in Motala, Sweden, on 29 May 2022.
Rut's passion for the sky came later in life, as she discovered parachuting and skydiving right before she turned 90.
And it was on her milestone 90th birthday that she tried paragliding for the first time ever.
Since then, the daredevil has tried all kinds of adventures in the sky: ballooning, paragliding and parachuting.
Her first experience with parachuting was in 2020, when she was 102 years old.
And her exciting new hobby gave her instant iconic status.
"There is something special in being the oldest one.”
Heaviest cumulative lift for bench/squat and press in competition (female)
Female powerlifter Tamara Walcott of Laurel, Maryland, US, has raised the bar -both literally and figuratively - to show the world she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Despite only entering the sport four years ago, she has climbed to the absolute top of the powerlifting world.
Between 29-30 July 2022, the athlete was recognized at the 2022 World Raw Powerlifting Federation American Pro in Manassas, Virginia, US, for the heaviest cumulative lift for bench/squat and press in competition (female) after lifting a total of 737.5 kg (1,620.4 lb) across three compound lifts – the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift.
Tamara’s record-breaking achievements have not come easy.
Before becoming one of the world’s strongest women, she struggled with food addiction and obesity.
Weighing 188.2 kg (415 lb), Tamara says she knew she needed to make a drastic change to her life.
“When I looked in my kids’ eyes, I wanted to make sure that I was there for them, so I had to start taking care of me.”
Thanks to her dedication and perseverance, it wasn’t long before she built up her weighted squat, which she initially admitted wasn’t the “best squat in the world,” to an impressive 183.7 kg (405 lb).
Tamara admitted that most of the time she’s training at the gym, her weightlifting counterparts tend to be men.
But through powerlifting, she's working to reinvent the expectations of what women can do.
In fact, during her weight training sessions, Tamara says she often thinks of her grandmother, who she described as powerful, strong, relentless, driven, and determined.
“My grandmother took care of all of us, not just our household, but the community as well. Everything that I am today is a true representation of who she was,” said Walcott.
“When I hold that weight and I pick it up, that’s me proving that no matter how hard things are, you’re always going to find a way. And that’s what my grandmother did.”
Although Tamara’s status as a sports icon has just begun, she also holds the record title for the heaviest elephant bar deadlift (female) after lifting an astonishing 291 kg (641 lb) at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, US, on 6 March 2022.
She hopes to continue raising the bar and breaking records, showing the world that the impossible is in fact possible.
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