Meet Clark Kent Apuada. At just 10 years old with four years of experience, Clark has established himself as a powerful swimmer. While competing in the 100 meter butterfly event at the Far West International Swimming Championship this past weekend, Clark actually beat the 1:10.48 record set by a young Michael Phelps in 1995 by 1.1 second. For twenty five years, Phelps’ record had gone unbroken. Clark also placed first in the other six events he performed in.
Clark’s first and middle names are the same as the alter ego of superhero Superman, and since smashing Phelps’ record, Superman is what people have been calling him.
The boy, who hails from Salinas, California, said, “Most people just call me Clark, but now, when I beat Michael Phelps’ record, they start calling me Superman.”
Speaking to his own chipper attitude, Clark added “I thought to myself yeah if I had positive thoughts, positive things would happen.” In another interview, the swimmer recalled beating Phelps’ record as a personal goal of his since the age of seven. Next, he hopes to take on the Olympics, though he is still several years away from that dream.
Travis Rianda, Apuada’s swim coach, described his athlete’s impressive talent and drive: “His first goals were, ‘I want to be a scientist, an Olympic gold medalist for the United States and I want to be a black belt.’ He’s on track for all three of those.” The superstar swimmer also has excellent grades!
It’s rare for one so young to receive praise from their heroes, but Clark’s immense accomplishment got acknowledged by Phelps himself. The retired competitive swimmer–and most decorated Olympian of all time, with 23 medals–tweeted congratulations to the up-and-comer.
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) August 1, 2018