LAPD detective attempting Ferris wheel record


Gus Martinez is riding the 130-foot Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. If he wants to break the record, he needs to stay on it for 25 hours, which means Martinez will have to sit there until 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Martinez says he's trying to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics. His son, who has Down syndrome, has won more than 30 gold medals in Special Olympics swimming competitions.

An Olympic torch has been attached to the front of the Ferris wheel gondola, and it's no ordinary gondola - it has solar panels for electricity.

"They have solar panels on top, they put a TV in here for me with power outlets, so it's really going to help me pass the day," Martinez said.

But hopefully, Martinez won't get too comfortable because if he nods off, he won't get the record. But that's where his secret weapon comes in: Martinez is afraid of heights.

The public can ride the Pacific Wheel during Pacific Park's exclusive after-hours from 8 p.m. to midnight for $5, with all proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Southern California.

Donations can be made at A live cam of the event can also be seen on the website.

All donors will receive a $10 off coupon Sports Authority. Once an online donation is confirmed, the donor can guess how many rotations the Pacific Wheel will make during the 25-hour world record attempt. The person coming closest without going over will receive a private one-hour ride on the Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel during non-operating hours with four guests and a meal from The Lobster restaurant.

The record of 24 hours 30 minutes was set in October in Dublin, Ireland.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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