Austrian Alpine superstar Hermann Maier recently set a world record, but not on skis. Instead of hoisting up his Atomics in thanks to the gods of speed, Maier and his teammates owed this triumph to a whole helluva lot of paper clips.
As part of Vienna’s European Festival this past October, the Herminator hooked up with several of his Austrian teammates and thousands of children to put together an 11.99-mile chain of paper clips in Vienna’s City Hall Square, setting a Guinness-book world record. Maier, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was joined by fellow Austrian World Cup winners Mikhail Botvinov (cross-country skiing), Andreas Goldberger (ski jumping), and Manuela Riegler (snowboarding). The team given the nod to disassemblethe clips was expected to be somewhat less accomplished.