hula hoop

Hula Hoops

Posted on January 11, 2015

Ancient Greece
The Greeks swing a hoop around the waist for physical fitness.

“Hooping” becomes popular in England. Then British sail to Hawaii and witness hula dancing, then decide to refer to “hooping” as “hula hooping” because of the similar hip actions of the two activities. However, hula hooping is soon banned in England after the practice is blamed for heart attacks and back problems.

Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin found the Wham-O company in a garage in Los Angeles.

Knerr and Melin are inspired by bamboo hoops used in Australia for exercise and decide to create a “hula hoop” made from a new plastic called Marlex.

Wham-O releases their new hula hoop.

Late 1950s
Japan bans the hula hoop because the rotating hip action seems indecent. The Soviet Union bans the hula hoop, calling it an example of the “emptiness of American culture.”

By this time, Wham-O has sold over 100 million hula hoops. The company makes over $45 million in profit, but by 1960 the fad is beginning to fade out.

The Hudsucker Proxy, a Coen brothers film starring Paul Newman and Tim Robbins, is released. It does not tell the story of the real history of the hula hoop, but is an entirely fictional account.

May 25, 1999
American Ken Kovach sets the Guinness world record for the most revolutions of a hula hoop while jumping on a trampoline.

Oct. 28, 2000
The world record for simultaneous hula-hooping is achieved at Chung Cheng Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. 2,290 hula-hoopers keep their hoops going for at least 2 minutes.

June 4, 2005
Australian Kareena Oates sets the Guinness world record for hula hooping the most hoops simultaneously. She hula hoops 100 hoops at once, sustaining three full revolutions of all 100 hoops.

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