Legendary Winnipeg escape artist Dean Gunnarson preparing to tempt death again, this time in China with an attempt to escape from one of the fastest roller-coasters in Asia.
On Wednesday Gunnarson will be handcuffed, chained, and padlocked around his arms and neck, and then chained to the tracks of a bullet coaster as it reaches a top speed of 135 km/h. Gunnarson must escape in 58 seconds or less and then make a daring leap 10 meters to safety before the coaster runs him down.
The last time he tried a similar escape Gunnarson was hurt when -- although he managed to escape from handcuffs and chains in time -- the speeding roller coaster clipped his right foot in mid-air as it sped past. Gunnarson was immediately taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a broken bone in his foot and internal bleeding.
Although he is still in pain from the last incident, Gunnarson says he feels very positive about this attempt.
"If I told you I wasn’t nervous while being chained down to those roller-coaster tracks I would be lying," he said in a press release. "It is absolutely terrifying how fast this coaster launches off. It is like a fighter jet taking off from an aircraft carrier and I am in its path!"
"I have always said I don’t do card tricks or pull bunny’s out of a hat. I push the envelope in an extreme way that tries to do the impossible with every great escape I have ever attempted. This one will be no exception!"
Provided Gunnarson survives the stunt, the International Magicians Society will present him with a Merlin Award for "World’s Best Escape Artist 2012".
This will mark the first time since the IMS started in 1968 that they have ever given a Merlin Award to an escape artist. Past recipients include David Copperfield, Doug Henning, Siegfried & Roy, Penn & Teller, and Criss Angel. The award will be presented to Gunnarson in China.