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The ups and downs of being one of the world’s best yo-yo artists
SALT LAKE CITY — Dale Myrberg is one of only four people in the world with the title of Yo-Yo National Grand Master. To earn the title, Myrberg spent the better part of his 77-years on Earth helping yo-yo’s become popular worldwide.
“I tell people that I’m a small-timer that got to do a lot of big time things,” he told KUED’s “This Is Utah.”
It all started when Myrberg’s older brother handed him a yo-yo at age 5. From there, a local traveling yo-yo man from Duncan Toys saw how quickly Myrberg learned yo-yo tricks and invited him to help spread the word about this “new toy.” Multiple yo-yo men from Duncan taught Dale the newest tricks, and he landed spots on TV shows.
“I was a little skinny kid, and I wasn’t good at sports or anything like that, and I picked the yo-yo up, and immediately had a dream of becoming a ‘Yo-Yo Man.’” The Utah native did that and more, traveling to Japan and Australia to compete and showcase his skills. Myrberg likes to perform what he calls “one of his most dangerous tricks”: using a yo-yo to knock a quarter off a volunteer’s ear.
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Myrberg has performed alongside many talented artists like the Smothers Brothers, Leon Redbone, Donny Osmond, Telly Savalez, and Andy Richter. But he says his biggest accomplishment, is inspiring the next generation of yo-yo fans
“To teach a little 5-year-old, they don’t think they can do it but I can teach them,” he said. “Just makes me feel really good to teach little kids like I was.”
This report originally appeared on local station KUED’s “This Is Utah.”
CORRECTION: Dale Myrberg’s name was previously spelled incorrectly as Myerberg.
PBS Utah airs award-winning, locally produced documentaries and series. PBS Utah’s weekly show, This Is Utah, celebrates the diverse people and communities that call Utah home.