I'll be honest: I did not know that watermelon crushing was a thing. Let alone that records have been set for it. I mean, I think I knew that vegetables and fruit are sometimes sacrificed in the pursuit of demonstrating strength, but I didn't realize it was so...competitive. Maybe it's because where I live, watermelons are an expensive fruit, and crushing one might be seen as too wasteful to contemplate. (What if it just got bruised and inedible?).
But no - it very much is a thing, and until recently, the record for smashing 3 watermelons using the physical strength of one's thighs was set by the Ukrainian strongwoman Olga Liashchuk. She set the bar at 14.65 seconds, which is a lot of smashed fruit in a small space of time, let's face it.
But Kortney Olson, the Las Vegas-based founder of GRRRL Clothing (a range of athletic clothing), decided last Friday to give Liashchuk a run for her money. She did this as part of the opening of her new GRRRL store in Las Vegas.
I just decided in correlation with our store opening because it’s a community space and we really want to start utilizing the space to teach things, to share this watermelon-crushing story with younger girls. - Kortney Olson
She knew that she could do it, because she had previously managed it (although without the stringent conditions that go along with an official Guinness World Record attempt, such as duplicate timekeepers and official stopwatches) in 11.36 seconds, so she was feeling confident, but when it came down to it she managed to beat not only the world record but her own expectations. Olson cracked three watermelons in an eye-wateringly quick 7.5 seconds.
It's a timely record to set, because she says her clothing store is all about female empowerment. Women can try clothes on and actually squat or lift or stretch in them, testing them for suitability, and try the clothes in action before making a purchase. This is the sort of thing that really matters with exercise clothes, so it's a genius move on Olson's part.
Not only that, but she teaches a class on watermelon smashing, with the aim of empowering women and making them stronger. Which is something we all need, as women in the world today.
If you want to be ready for National Watermelon Day on August 3rd, Olson says you can take an 8-week virtual watermelon smashing course on her website, and learn her skills in the comfort of your own home. I mean, I probably won't because the watermelons would cost me the price of a small car, but the overall message is spot on. Smash the patriarchy! (And some exotic fruit).