Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 6:09 PM
By: B.J. Bethel
— The 7-foot unicycle used by Rong Niu, the acrobat who performs as Red Panda at halftime shows at basketball games, was stolen from San Francisco International Airport last week.
Pat Figley of Farallon Entertainment, and is Niu’s agent, has offered a $2,000 award for the unicycle.
“She’s heartbroken, Figley told KTVU-TV in Oakland. “It’s like her baby was kidnapped, she’s had that unicycle for 30 years.”
Niu was waiting for her unicycle at the the luggage pickup, saw the bag from a distance, but said it appeared someone grabbed it before she could. Figley said someone may have taken the bag by mistake.
Figley told KTVU-TV that Niu is back on the road on a backup unicycle, but has had difficulties performing with it. The unicycle that was stolen was custom built for her, while the backup wasn’t.
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Cargo and Task Force is reviewing surveillance video from the airport.
Dayton Daily News award-winning columnist Tom Archdeacon wrote a feature about Niu less than a week ago.