A schoolgirl didn’t fold under pressure and set a new world record for the fastest ever origami, by making 1,000 paper cranes.
15-year-old Evelyne Chia spent nine hours and 31 minutes creating the neat little paper birds, smashing the previous record of 12 hours.
She spent six months in training for the record attempt which also raised over £2,300 ($3,189) for NHS Charities Together.
Origami is traditionally associated with Japanese culture, and folding 1,000 cranes is supposed to bring good fortune.
But even skilled origamists don’t usually accomplish the impressive milestone in just one sitting.
Evelyne has just finished her GCSEs at Colchester County High School for Girls in Colchester in Essex.
She began folding the little paper birds at 9am on Tuesday, and folded her 1,000th crane at 6.31pm.
She said: “I wanted to do a fundraiser as I have a long summer now as I’ve just finished my GCSEs.
“I wanted to do something that would get people’s attention, so I thought what better way than by trying to set a Guinness World Record at the same time?
“I applied to do this in January, and was told I had to beat a time of 12 hours.
“In ancient Japanese culture, there is a legend that says if you fold 1,000 paper cranes you can make a wish to the Gods and it will come true.
“When I completed the challenge, I made a wish that I would raise enough money to make a difference for healthcare workers, and I do feel like I’ve done that.”
Evelyne was taught by her mother Ivy how to do origami when she was just six years old.
She said: “It’s been a hobby of mine for a long time. I like making little animals, like rabbits or cats. Sometimes I’ll make them as gifts for my friends.”
But despite her proficiency in the paper-folding art, she said she “surprised” herself with how quickly she was able to fold 1,000 paper cranes.
She explained: “I’ve had practice sessions over the last six months where I’ll time myself for an hour and see how many I can fold in that time.
“At first it took me about two minutes to fold one crane, but then I started to get quicker and quicker, and eventually my average speed was about 30 seconds for each one.”
The determined teen did not take a break once during the nine and a half hours to eat, drink, or even to go to the bathroom.
She said: “After a while I kind of went into autopilot, and I was doing it from muscle memory.
“It helped that there was people around me on the day of the attempt to act as witnesses to the record.
“There were people wandering around and coming up to talk to me, so I could distract myself by talking to them, and I wasn’t just working in silence.
“There was so much going on around me that it helped to push me to work faster.
“During the last hour, I was on a Zoom call with a member of the British Origami Association, and she was talking to me about the significance of origami and paper cranes.
“That really helped to push me through to the end.”
Evelyne is now waiting to hear from the Guinness World Records that she has become an official record holder.
As for what’s next? She explained with a smile: “I think I’ll be giving myself a little break from origami for a while now.”