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   Most hugs given-world record set by Jordan Pearce

[Sep 17]PROVO,Utah,US--Love flowed fast in Provo on Saturday night when 765 people stood in line to hug 18-year-old Jordan Pearce in an attempt to break the world's record for most hugs given to one person in an hour. The event was part of the LDS Church's Edgemont North Stake Super Activity.

   Breaking the record turned out to require a lot of endurance as Pearce constantly knelt to hug hundreds of children in the line, and stretched to hug people taller than herself.

   "It was so fun and funny with all the little hitches in the plan," Pearce said. "Some old ladies would hold on forever when they just needed to get out of the way for the next person. Or I had to hug some BYU professors, which was weird because I would be taking their classes soon and now I was hugging them."

   The previous record was 612 hugs in an hour, as recorded by Guinness World Records, said Charles Abbott, organizer of the stake event and grandfather to Pearce.

   The stake had hoped to make a new record of 1,000 people, but 30 minutes in, ran out of people at 765. "I feel like I'm on cloud nine," Pearce said after being hugged for the last time.

  In the end, Jordan Pearce has set the new world record for most hugs given to one person in an hour.

   Asked before the event what was the appropriate training for breaking a hugging record, Pearce said "I'm not entirely sure."
   She said she had no boyfriend to get jealous and added that the event would "be my allotment of hugs for the year."

   A Hinckley scholar at BYU who will be a junior after her first semester because of advanced placement credits, Pearce said breaking a world record had been her idea. Abbott, her grandfather, had been a world record holder in his youth and Pearce said she thought it would be great to follow in his footsteps.

  On Saturday, 4th District Judge Lynn Davis and Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble, (R-Provo) oversaw the competition, each holding a counter to tally the number of people who hugged Pearce.

   Pearce's neighbor, Theresa Welker, served as a third judge. The rules stipulate that each hug must be genuine, with arms and hands wrapped around the person. In addition, each person was only allowed to hug once, and Pearce was required to stand in the same place during the event.

   To ensure no double-hugging, everyone who hugged Pearce was stamped on their right hand.

   With family, friends, cousins and neighbors in the line, many lingered too long. "Faster, faster, come on, faster," said Oranee Abbott, repeating the mantra hundreds of times as she organized the line approaching her granddaughter.

   "She's hugging everyone like she means it," said one woman with a laugh, while a man in line yelled out "Let's move, people, let's move!"

    "This is exciting," said Morgan Coleman, who, as the 613th person hugged, officially broke the record.

   "Now we can Google you," said his wife, Char.

     ...yes, you can :-)) -World Record Academy