Tak­ing one gi­ant leap for Feb. 29

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation - BY WAYNE PARRY

AT­LANTIC CITY, N.J. | Peo­ple jumped off — or rather leaped off —tall build­ings all around the coun­try Wed­nes­day, parachut­ing down to the ground in honor of Feb. 29.

It was all part of a leap year pro­mo­tion for an en­ergy drink.

In At­lantic City, two parachutists jumped off the top of the Water Club, the 43-story lux­ury ho­tel next to the Bor­gata Ho­tel Casino & Spa, land­ing safely in the park­ing lot.

“That was awe­some!” ex­claimed Jeff Proven­zano as his feet hit the ground in the park­ing lot, his chute still bil­low­ing above him in the stiff wind. “There was a burst of wind; 450 feet! It was awe­some!”

Mr. Proven­zano, 35, from Ari­zona City, Ariz., was the first off the roof. He said he’s made about 200 such jumps around the coun­try.

“Right be­fore you start off, the nerves start to get to you a lit­tle bit,” he said. “Once you take the first step, you know you’re com­mit­ted. And when you’re in the air and the chute comes out, all the fear is gone and then it’s just ex­hil­a­ra­tion.”

Tak­ing three quick steps to­ward the edge, he hurled him­self over the side, plung­ing straight down for a sec­ond or two un­til he pulled the rip cord on his para­chute and it snapped out be­hind him, slow­ing his de­scent and bring­ing a smile of re­lief to his face.

Sim­i­lar jumps were planned in Mi­ami, from the 36-story Con­rad Ho­tel; Detroit, from the top of the 73story Gen­eral Mo­tors head­quar­ters at the Re­nais­sance Cen­ter, and Las Ve­gas, from the 43-story Man­dalay Bay Ho­tel & Casino.

The pro­mo­tion was tied in to the cal­en­dar quirk this leap year in which Fe­bru­ary has one ex­tra day.

For sim­plic­ity’s sake, each year is con­sid­ered to have 365 days. But for the Earth to make one com­plete rev­o­lu­tion around the sun takes about 365 days and 6 hours.

So ev­ery four years, one ex­tra day is added to the cal­en­dar, on Feb. 29, to make up for the cos­mic left­overs. Mon­day. Three stu­dents died and two were wounded.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Jeff Proven­zano says his leap off the Water Club ho­tel in At­lantic City, N.J., on Wed­nes­day was “awe­some.” He was the first off the roof to mark leap year.

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