Home Big Picture Gabi Ury By Samantha Cecil

Gabi Ury By Samantha Cecil


Gabi Ury was 16 when she shattered the women’s world record for the longest abdominal plank in 2014, crushing the 40 minute one second record with 1 hour, 20 minutes. 

She discovered her talent when she was trying out for her school’s volleyball team. Due to being born without muscles in her calves, she did a plank instead of running a mile. And she kept it. For 15 minutes straight (not even ‘cheating’). She knew from then on that she could break this record if she tried hard enough. She practiced, increasing the amount of time she spent by a couple of minutes each session.

She planned the day when she would break her record, choosing her sweet sixteen to complete it on. Gabi used it as a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital in Denver, raising 10 times the amount of her goal. As she attempted to break the record, she was surrounded by her family and friends, as well as an audience from a life webcast. They were all encouraging her, telling jokes and entertaining her in every way they could. She succeeded breaking the record, to the joy of everyone who watched her. 

Gabi was born with unforeseen special needs, suffering from a condition known as VATER syndrome. For her, specifically, it affected her spinal cord, legs, feet, and some of her organs. She had to go through 15 major surgeries due to this condition. She had to wear braces and casts on both legs and her back for close to 11 years, and suffered daily the horrible torture that is physical therapy. No one thought she would be able to survive, or if she did, be able to walk, but she proved them wrong.  

She lived a normal life – went to class, played with her friends, and did all of the things that kids do. She never complained, as her personal philosophy was that “…complaining about my situation wasn’t going to help, so what was the point?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDbN8R6Gb6Q

Gabi Ury is a strong person, both physically and mentally. Despite her struggles, she was ambitious and optimistic, and through that was able to beat a rather difficult Guinness World Record.

Central Middle School sixth grader Samantha Cecil is currently waiting for her 1,000,000th Ted Talk.