Canadian, Matt Frame, finds it quite ridiculous that he is less than 8 days from his attempted Guinness World Record Swim wearing handcuffs.
“This is absurd. I am a film maker, not an endurance athlete. I don’t even have access to Gatorade here,” he says from this fledgling tourist destination on the Southern tip of Cambodia, which Frame has called home for the past 19 months. “Why don’t I just let people stab me for charity? I could auction it on eBay. Stab a Canuck and send a Cambodian child to school!” exclaims Frame with a wry smile.
Following a tradition of dry, sarcastic, sometimes tastelessly bizarre Canadian wit, Frame is all smiles about the World Record 5.9km handcuffed doggy paddle that he will attempt on November 9th, 2006, which, coincidentally, falls on International Guinness World Record Day. “The Guinness folks know about me,” he announces. “I filled out some gratuitously long release form. They obviously don’t want to be liable for me being hauled to the bottom by a pack of jellyfish.”
Official Guinness rep on site or not, the attempt is a confirmed World Record, beating the previous holder, American Brian Friedman, who completed his handcuffed swim of 2.4km from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf, just over a year ago. “That guy deserves to keep the record based on the wretched conditions factor alone,” concedes Frame. “My biggest worry is that the safety boat guy doesn’t fall asleep and chop me in half.” Frame, 34, an award winning filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada may find humor in what some may consider a foolish endeavor but he most certainly possesses a serious undercurrent of purpose. “I am not doing this as a joke” he explains. “Look, I know how the world works. This swim is simply the beginning. A strange beginning, admittedly, but it takes more than a polite e-mail these days to get people’s attention.”
When one hears words such as these it doesn’t take a high IQ to realize that there must be a powerful cause behind it all. In Frame’s case, it happens to be the Foundation he has set up to send as many underprivileged Cambodian children to English school as possible. He makes no bones about the desired impact his World Record swim will have on the campaign. “Of course, I am doing this for the publicity,” he exclaims. “We have tried conventional routes of fundraising but the results have been disappointing. Still, there are many people out there who will take the time to read about our goals and decide to help because they see the big picture. If my swim gives more skeptical folks reason to believe, so be it.”