Rong Niu, known to the masses as Red Panda, has for decades enthralled basketball fans nationwide during halftime with her acrobatics of flipping bowls onto her head atop a unicycle. Last week, she reportedly had her beloved unicycle stolen from the San Francisco airport.
Fox affiliate KTVU has details:
“She’s heartbroken,” her agent, Pat Figley of San Francisco-based Farallon Entertainment, told KTVU on Wednesday. ”It’s like her baby was kidnapped. She’s had that unicycle for 30 years.”
As Figley tells the story, Niu had landed at SFO from Denver and was waiting for her bag – filled with her 7-foot unicycle – to come off the conveyor belt. She saw it from a distance. But as she was about 10 to 15 feet away, someone “must have grabbed it,” Figley said. He said it’s possible someone even took it by mistake, and if so, he’s hoping they return it, no questions asked.
While Red Panda is back on the road with a replacement unicycle, missing her old one has affected her act:
“She’s doing horribly,” Figley said. “She’s dropping balls. She’s just not used to it. The one that was stolen was custom built for her.”
A $2,000 reward is being offered, with no questions asked, for a safe return of the unicycle. Here’s hoping it finds its way back to its rightful home.