10-Year-Old Clark Kent Apuada Topples Olympian, Michael Phelps Record And This Is How

Many have been left stunned after a 10-year-old boy swam the 100-metre butterfly at the Far Western Long Course Championship in his home state of California.

The young swimmer with sky-high dreams and a name to match them has toppled a record previously held by Olympian, Michael Phelps.

Clark Kent Apuada, whose friends call “Superman,” swam the 100-metre butterfly in 1:09:38, Time.com reports. That’s more than a second faster than the record Phelps set at the Far Western swimming championship in 1995, with a time of 1:10.48 in the same category of boys 10 and under.

Phelps’ record in that meet hasn’t been touched for 23 years.

Clark, a rising fifth-grader who is Filipino-American, told HuffPost he’s been dreaming about breaking Phelps’ record ever since he started swimming competitively at age 7.

“I was so motivated,” Clark said about his win. “I was so happy and relieved that I was able to beat that record.”

“Most people just call me Clark, but now when I beat Michael Phelps’ record, they start calling me Superman,” the burgeoning aquatic superstar told CBS News.

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Phelps competed in his first Olympics at age 15. He went on to become the most decorated Olympian in history, with 28 medals overall.

“Everyone in the crowd was thrilled when they realized what a special swim they had just witnessed when we announced the long standing record had been broken,” Cindy Rowland, PacSwim’s administrative director, wrote in an email.

Clark won first place for all the swimming events he competed in, at this year’s Far Western Championships, Rowland confirmed to HuffPost. Pacific Swimming or PacSwim, a regional association that is part of USA Swimming, organizes the Far Western Long Course Championship.

Cynthia Apuada, Clark’s mother told Huffington Post that her child seems to be “living by his name at this point.”

Asked about the champion swimmer’s unusual name, she said she’d always loved the name Clark. She further said that her husband’s favourite superhero happened to be Superman, and when their child was born they decided to name him “Clark Kent”.

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The nickname “Superman” emerged naturally.

“We’re always just telling people his name is Clark. But when they realize his full name, people just call him Superman,” Apuada said.

“My son was extremely motivated about setting goals for himself from an early age”, Apuada said.

A few years ago, she continued, Clark researched all the local swim clubs (the family lives in Salinas, California) and started memorizing the records other swimmers were setting.

He eventually joined the Monterey County Aquatic Team.

“He’s the one who said, ‘Look, Mom, Michael Phelps has a record in the Far Western. I can beat that,’” Apuada recalled. “And he was just 7.”

The family had been nervous about the international championship meet since Clark got sick in the week before the competition, but Apuada said her son’s motivation helped him push through.

“When she saw the final score, we were very glad and really rejoicing,” she said.

The young champion isn’t resting on his laurels, however. Clark said he has an even bigger goal in sight of the Olympics.

“Paris 2024 or Los Angeles 2028,” he said. “This record has motivated me to keep swimming, to keep striving and do everything I can to get to that elite level.”

“Big congrats to #clarkkent for smashing that meet record,” Phelps tweeted on Tuesday. “Keep it up dude!”

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Luckily for everyone involved, Phelps’s own progeny — including two-year-old Boomer and new baby Beckett — may already be practising in the pool with their famous dad, but they won’t be eligible for Olympic competition until at least 2032 and 2036, respectively.

In the meantime, Clark said he’s been training every day and holding on to his mantra.

“Never give up on your dreams,” he said. “Never.”

The Olympics may have a new superstar climbing up the ranks, but the pool is not the only place Clark lives up to nickname. He is just as multi-talented on dry land as well.

“He does piano lessons, he does martial arts, and at school, if there’s a computer class, coding, or STEM programs, he’s always joining,” Clark Kent’s father, Chris Apuada, told CNN.

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