Havelock man breaks through barriers as first Puerto Rican world champion baton twirler, now competing on ‘AGT’


HAVELOCK, N.C. (WNCT) — Joel Claudio knows a thing or two about chasing a dream.

The Havelock man grew up in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico before coming to the states at age 18 to compete for the United States in baton twirling.

At 14, he won his first national title in Puerto Rico but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

He went on to win national and world titles including multiple NBTA Men’s Grand National Twirling Championship, the 2016 and 2019 Congressional Cup Champion and the 2015 Men’s Solo and Two Baton World Champion. 

His latest achievement is making it to the second round of auditions on the television show “America’s Got Talent.”

“It literally has changed my entire life from traveling all over the world, from traveling across the country, being able to meet people I looked up to, inspire and touch peoples lives, recently being on the biggest stage in American entertainment,” said Claudio.

You can track his success on his Instagram page and on “America’s Got Talent.”

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