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57-year-old acrobat takes flight, wows audiences at 2018 Whoop-Up Days

A life at the carnival is a dream for many. One man has done just that for two decades and you can see him perform three times a day during Whoop-Up Days. Kyle Benning explains.

At 57 years old, Patreck Malley is no spring chicken, but some of the stunts he performs on a daily basis would make you think otherwise.

He and his girlfriend are two of the members of the flying trapeze team that is performing three times a day at Exhibition Park during Whoop-Up Days.

After performing for 22 years, Malley can’t imagine doing anything else.

“It’s the adrenaline, the crowd, the people. When you shake their hands after the show, it’s so much fun to see all the people with bright eyes when they look at you and they say, ‘We really enjoyed that.’ And, ‘Wow, it’s hard.’ So it’s all about that,” he said.

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He met his girlfriend of 10 years through trapeze and is always a little bit cautious when she is jumping to him.

“Before the show, we always shake hands and say, ‘Flyer fly safe.’ And she always says, ‘Don’t drop me.’”

He said he has dropped her once and she has never let him forget it.

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Exhibition Park said it leaped at the opportunity to bring Trapezé Le Voltigeur to Whoop-Up Days this year.

WATCH: Whoop-Up Days set to hit Lethbridge

Whoop-Up Days set to hit Lethbridge
Whoop-Up Days set to hit Lethbridge

“Their talent is amazing. What they can pull off up there and what they can do, it’s a world-class act. They’re travelling around the world,” supervisor of events and entertainment Jackie French said.

Even though Malley noted that he’s a “little rounder” than he was 22 years ago, he wants to swing from the trapeze for however long his body will let him.

“I want to catch as long as I can,” he said. “For a show like that, I probably have two or three more good years, but after that I think I’m going to pass it to the young men.”

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This is the first time the team has travelled to western Canada, and they hope to make more stops around Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan.

You can watch Malley catching the rest of the trapeze team three times a day at Exhibition Park at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. during Whoop-Up Days.

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