Congratulations Gus Martinez for setting the Guiness World Records® title for
"Longest Ride On A Fair Ground/Theme Park Attraction"!

Big wheels keep turning, especially the 130-feet tall Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel where Gus Martinez, Los Angeles Police Officer, set the world-record beginning at 7:30 a.m. on May 31 to 8:30 a.m. on June 1. Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier joined Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) and Southern California Law Enforcement in its 25-hour effort to break the current Guinness World Record of 24 hours and 30 minutes. Martinez remained in the Ferris wheel gondola throughout the record-setting period and was periodically joined by Jason, his son and SOSC athlete. Additional family members, friends and law enforcement officers were also riding along and cheering him on each minute of the way.

After setting the record, Gus Martinez and his son lit the official Southern California Law Enforcement Torch held by a Santa Monica Law Enforcement Officer and SOSC athlete. The pair ran up the Santa Monica Pier, down Colorado Blvd., onto Main Street to the Santa Monica Police Department where the flame will be kept for the weekend. On Monday, June 4, Law Enforcement Officials will kick-off the Southern California legs of the Southern California Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOSC Summer Games.

Meet Gus Martinez

Gus Martinez has been with the Los Angeles Police Department since 1994 and currently holds the rank of Detective, working special crime task force. Jason, his son, is also a Special Olympics athlete with Down syndrome. He considers his work with Jason and SOSC "life changing." Martinez is also a Special Olympics coach and, together with his wife Menah, they have three children Beverly, 24, Jason, 23, and Ariel, 8. The entire family is very supportive of Jason and his Special Olympics "career" and his accomplishments.

"Special Olympics athletes are real athletes... no endorsements... no scholarships... just pure joy to train and compete. Being in this SOSC world of athletes, parents, volunteers... it's a bit of change from working with the crime-related activity I typically focus on day in and day out," says Martinez.

His desire to attempt to break the world record on the Ferris wheel is driven by the challenge of spinning around for 25 hours, he has the endurance skills, often awake 25-30 hours at a time, and, most importantly, he's doing it for Jason and SOSC.

The Martinez Family

Facts About the Event

Who holds the current record?

The current record was set in October 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

How long is the current record?

The current record is 24 hours and 30 minutes.

Why attempt to break the record?

Money raised from this event will go toward SOSC.

What organizations are participating in the attempt?

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier joins Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC), Sports Authority, The Lobster and Southern California Law Enforcement in its 25-hour effort to break the current Guinness World Records® title.

Who is attempting to break the record?

Gus Martinez has been with the Los Angeles Police Department since 1994 and currently holds the rank of Detective, working special crime task force.

Is anyone else assisting the law enforcement officer?

Martinez will remain in the Ferris wheel gondola throughout the record-setting period and will be periodically joined by Jason, his son and SOSC athlete. Additional family members, friends and law enforcement officers will also be riding along and cheering him on each minute of the way.

What is the family background of Gus Martinez?

Jason, his son, is a Special Olympics athlete with Down syndrome. Martinez considers his work with Jason and SOSC “life changing.” Martinez is also a Special Olympics coach and, together with his wife Menah, they have three children Beverly, 24, Jason, 23, and Ariel, 8. The entire family is very supportive of Jason and his Special Olympics “career” and his accomplishments.

Why would Martinez want to spend 25 hours on a Ferris wheel?

His desire to attempt to break the world record on the Ferris wheel is driven by the challenge of spinning around for 25 hours, he has the endurance skills, often awake 25-30 hours at a time, and, most importantly, he’s doing it for Jason and SOSC.

What is Law Enforcement’s role with SOSC and the record-breaking attempt?

Upon setting the record, Martinez and his son will light the official Southern California Law Enforcement Torch held by a Santa Monica Law Enforcement Officer and SOSC athlete. The pair will run up the Santa Monica Pier, down Colorado Blvd., onto Main Street to the Santa Monica Police Department where the flame will be kept for the weekend. On Monday, June 4, Law Enforcement Officials will kick-off the Southern California legs of the Southern California Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOSC Summer Games.

How can people get involved?

Supporters can get involved with a variety of fundraising options available online at pacpark.com/worldrecord/involved. Once an online donation is confirmed, the supporter can then guess how many rotations the Pacific Wheel will make during the 25-hour world record event. The supporter who comes closest to the total rotations without going over will receive a free, private one-hour ride on the Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel. The ride will occur during non-operating hours with four guests and include a delicious meal from The Lobster restaurant.

In addition, supporters donating at the website will receive a $10 off coupon for Sports Authority, an SOSC partner proud to be a part of the record-setting event.

Guests can also ride the Ferris wheel in one of the remaining gondolas for $5 during the Park’s exclusive after-hours from 8 p.m. to midnight. All proceeds raised during the period will go toward SOSC.

Can people come to Pacific Park and lend support to Martinez?

Yes! The more the merrier. As in all team sports, all support is welcome and Pacific Park will have an area for “cheerleaders” to join in the fun!

Can you tell me about the Ferris wheel?

The Pacific Wheel is the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel featuring 160,000 energy-efficient LED lights that present dynamic, custom, computer-generated lighting entertainment each evening. The eco-friendly, enhanced LED lighting provides 75 percent greater energy savings than most Ferris wheel’s traditional incandescent bulbs.

Why is Pacific Park working with SOSC?

Pacific Park is committed to being the best partner to Special Olympics Southern California and works with them as their primary community organization.

How can I learn more about Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier?

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 18 midway games and an oceanfront food plaza. For additional information and hours of operation, call 310-260-8744, visit pacpark.com, follow on Twitter: @pacpark and Like at Facebook: facebook.com/pacificpark.

Can you tell me more about SOSC Summer Games?

SOSC Summer Games take place on June 9-10 at Cal State Long Beach. Athletes and volunteers travel from all over Southern California to participate in the annual Summer Games, which is the largest Special Olympics Southern California sports competition of the year with more than 1,100 athletes competing in aquatics, athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, golf, and gymnastics. An expected 6,000 people will attend the games throughout the weekend. For more information about the Summer Games, visit sosc.org/summergames.

Can you tell me more about SOSC?

Special Olympics Southern California has been changing lives through the power of sport for more than 40 years and offers opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. For more information about how to compete, coach or contribute, visit sosc.org.

Special Olympics Southern California

Special Olympics Southern California has been changing lives through the power of sport for more than 40 years and offers opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. Special Olympics Southern California appreciates the support of its year-round Mission. Partners: KTLA, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Summit Entertainment, Toyota, and The Vons Foundation.

Money raised from this event will go toward events such as SOSC Summer Games, taking place June 9-10 at Cal State Long Beach. Athletes and volunteers travel from all over Southern California to participate in the annual Summer Games, which is the largest Special Olympics Southern California sports competition of the year with more than 1,100 athletes competing in aquatics, athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, golf, and gymnastics. An expected 6,000 people will attend the games throughout the weekend.

Jason Martinez (pictured) has shown that he is a champion swimmer with over 30 gold medals.

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 18 midway games and an oceanfront food plaza. The Pacific Wheel is the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel featuring 160,000 energy-efficient LED lights that present dynamic, custom, computer-generated lighting entertainment each evening. The eco-friendly, enhanced LED lighting provides 75 percent greater energy savings than most Ferris wheel’s traditional incandescent bulbs. In addition to the Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel, Pacific Park’s signature rides include The West Coaster, a steel roller coaster that races 55 feet above the Santa Monica Bay; and Inkie’s Air Lift Balloon Ride, the high-flying, family-sharing kids’ ride.

Get Involved For A Great Cause

Supporters can get involved in this exciting World Record Event and Special Olympics Southern California in many ways:

Make A Donation & Get A $10 OFF Sports Authority Coupon!

Make a donation to the Special Olympics Southern California and receive a $10 OFF coupon for Sports Authority, a proud SOSC partner.

Make A Donation Now >

Attend The SOSC Summer Games!

Cheer on more than 1,100 athletes at the Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games at Cal State University, Long Beach on June 9-10, 2012. The games will feature six Spring/Summer sports including aquatics, athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, golf & gymnastics.

Learn More About The SOSC Summer Games >
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