10-year-old Clark Kent Apuada placed first in all seven events at the Far Western Long Course Championships in California, highlighted by the 100-meter butterfly, in which he broke a record set by Olympian Michael Phelps at the same meet back in 1995.
“Most people just call me Clark, but now, when I beat Michael Phelps’ record, they start calling me Superman,” he said. “I thought to myself, yeah if I had positive thoughts, positive things would happen.”
“It’s the coolest thing in the world because that’s all he talked about,” said Travis Rianda, Apuada’s swim coach. “It wasn’t like, ‘I want to be better than Michael Phelps,’ or anything like that. 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.”
In addition to breaking Phelps’ record by 1.1 seconds, Apuada also won six other races at the meet. Technically, Apuada can’t qualify for the Olympics just yet, but the Olympics is his ultimate goal.
Michael Phelps himself has already noticed his talent, taking to Twitter to say, “Big congrats to Clark Kent for smashing that meet record!!! Keep it up dude!! Dreambig.”
Apuada has only been swimming competitively for four years, but with sky-high dreams and a name to match, he just may be a real-life superhero.
Phelps is the long course world record holder in the men’s 100 meter butterfly, 200 meter butterfly, and 400 meter individual medley as well as the former long course world record holder in the 200 meter freestyle and 200 meter individual medley.
He has won 82 medals in major international long course competition, of which 65 were gold, 14 silver, and 3 bronze, spanning the Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships.