Sep 25, 2012

The Cyr Wheel: The Magic of a Giant Metal Hula-Hoop

The Cyr Wheel.  I skidded to a halt on my bike as I passed the concrete skate park on the beach-  it was something I had never seen before.  A man floating in a metal loop; it looked like an optical illusion.  He was doing flips and spins and looked altogether inhuman.  Was it magic?  Was I seeing things?  No.  This man was suspended in the air, rotating and doing tricks in a large metal hula-hoop. 

A lot of crazy things happen in Venice, California.  From the man who roams around on the roller skates playing the electric guitar (he’s got a sweet long beard and a turban as well) to the 10 foot dude on stilts, there’s a lot for tourists to gawk at.  Having biked by the whole scene countless times since moving to the area 4 years ago, I’m pretty jaded to the whole thing.  This was different.  I stopped and watched for a few minutes and snagged this video. 

A little research, and I found that this large metal hula-hoop is called the Cyr Wheel and was developed as an acrobatic device popularized in the early 21st century by Daniel Cyr, co-founder of Cirque Eloize, a Quebec-based circus.  Daniel was apparently unaware of the existence of a similar device by Adalbert von Rekowski in 1930.  Here is a rare picture of Albert using his device, courtesy of  How do you pronounce Cyr wheel?  I have no clue... "Sir" Wheel?

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