Yo-Yo Champ Spins Tricks Around the World

By Ryan Ward | October 7, 2021


Mark Hayward was first introduced to a yo-yo on Christmas morning.

“I first got a yo-yo in my stocking for Christmas when I was in high school,” says Hayward. “I’ve always been fidgety so it was a really good fit for me. I could just put it in my pocket and anytime I had a few minutes to spare, I could pull it out and play with a little bit and learn some tricks.”

Hayward would take that gift and turn it into a career. Traveling and performing in front of audiences worldwide while performing his own style of comedy and yo-yo mastery.

“I’ve gotten to tour all over the United States from coast to coast,” says Hayward. “But I’ve also been lucky enough that I have toured in Australia, China, Sweden, and South Africa. I did a tour in Iceland and of course, Canada and Mexico.”

After years of training and performing, Hayward would start to focus on yo-yo-related goals and records. As of now, he holds two Guinness world records, one that includes the furthest distance to ‘walk the dog’ with a yo-yo.

“It felt so good to get that world record for the ‘walk the dog’ with the yo-yo because I had been trying to get it for I think it was like seven years,” says Hayward. “So when I got it and they told me I got it on camera and I had friends around me, it was the best.”

Hayward stresses that anything is career-worthy, no matter the perception of others.

“So I think it’s an important lesson that if you can think of it, if you can persist, and you can be creative enough to figure it out, you can make a career out of doing anything,” says Hayward.

Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward is a producer for the “Wisconsin Life” project and can rest easy after he finally found the perfect jar of homemade dill pickles at the farmer’s market in Madison. … just like his Grandma Shirley use to make!

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