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Parachutists leap off tall buildings for Leap Day

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Base jumper Jeff Provenzano leaps off the top of the The Water Club hotel Wednesday in Atlantic City, N.J. People jumped off tall buildings all around the country Wednesday, but no one got hurt. It was all part of a Leap Day promotion for an energy drink.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — People jumped off tall buildings all around the country Wednesday, but no one got hurt.

It was all part of a Leap Day 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.

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 73-story 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, hence the term “Leap 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.

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