A 10-year-old boy from California is making quite the splash in competitive swimming. In fact, young Clark Kent Apuada (yes, that’s his real name!) just did something few people have managed: He broke a swimming record set by Michael Phelps. Yes, we are talking about the 28-Olympic-medal winner.
The junior swimmer, who is known as “Superman” (of course), competed in the Far West International Championship. In one of his events, the 100-meter butterfly, he easily won he race with a record time of 1:09:38. The previous record had been held by none other than Phelps since 1995 — and Apuada was more than a second faster.
The swimming Superman’s reaction to breaking such an illustrious record was as mild-mannered as the Clark Kent name implies:
“If I have positive thoughts, then positive things will happen,” he told “CBS Evening News.”
He must have had a lot of positive vibes flowing during the championships, because he won seven events there.
The feat didn’t go unnoticed by the boy’s sports idol. Michael Phelps took a moment to hop on Twitter and congratulate the new record holder.
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) August 1, 2018
When CBS correspondent Jamie Yuccas showed the boy Phelps’ tweet, his reaction was priceless.
— Jamie Yuccas (@jamieyuccas) August 1, 2018
As humble as Apuada is, his swimming coach Dia Riana has no problem talking up the young phenom.
“This kid is unlike any other young man that I’ve ever coached,” Riana said. “He’s always stood out, he’s just, he’s kind of a savant of sorts.”
— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 1, 2018
But there’s more to him than his life in the pool. He also enjoys playing piano, coding and martial arts, according to his father, Chris Apuada. And, yes, as you might have guessed Apuada’s name likeness to superhero Clark Kent was not an accident. His mother Cynthia said she liked the name Clark and her husband’s favorite superhero is Superman, so Clark Kent seemed like a natural fit.
Apuada has only been swimming competitively for four years. Yet he does have a goal of swimming in the 2024 Summer Olympics.
“Dream big,” he said, “and always focus on your dreams and have fun.”