‘It made my mum cry’: Daredevil teenager tells how Hong Kong ‘rooftopping’ video upset family

‘It made my mum cry’: Daredevil teenager tells how Hong Kong ‘rooftopping’ video upset family

The latest daredevil to scale one of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers while shooting a vertigo-inducing video has admitted that his death-defying antics reduced his mother to tears.

Without using any safety equipment, German teenager Andrej Ciesielski recently reached the top of Lee Gardens in Causeway Bay, while using a GoPro camera to shoot enough video to make his audience go weak at the knees.

The building stands more than 240 metres high, according to website Emporis, which give information on buildings and construction worldwide.

Ciesielski, 18, says his family enjoys the pictures he takes, but they are always afraid of him falling.

“When they saw the video of the climb in Hong Kong, my mum cried. She’s so afraid that something could happen to me,” he says, admitting that for him the daredevil behaviour “is normal, it’s nothing special”.

During his trip to Hong Kong Ciesielski tried to get to the top of other buildings, playing cat and mouse with management and security guards.

He wrote on his blog that he was caught on the rooftop of the Hotel Panorama in Tsim Sha Tsui by a hotel manager, who called the police. He said the police were rude and “told us to go back to our country and next time we will get arrested and we will be banned from China and we will never be able to go back to Hong Kong again.”

Photo: Andrej Ciesielski’s Instagram

He added that police deleted 600 images from his camera.

The Hotel Panorama would only say that they called the police.

When asked about the incident, Hong Kong police said that unless they had a case number and an exact date, they could neither comment on the incident, nor explain whether entering a building unauthorised really could get someone banned from ever entering Hong Kong.

Photo: Andrej Ciesielski’s Instagram

Ciesielski is now in Shanghai, where he has continued to post pictures from on high.

Ciesielski says he’s more afraid of the police in Germany than anywhere else, because they can fine rooftoppers, sentence them to community service, and even give them a criminal record. He says a friend had recently contacted him to say that he got caught rooftopping in Munich and was fined around 500 Euros (HK $4,200.)

Other rooftoppers around the world have also had run-ins with the law. Last month, three Toronto men were charged for allegedly breaking locks to get to the observation deck of a building. Last August, a 24-year-old Russian tourist was arrested after he climbed up the Brooklyn Bridge. He was allowed to leave after carrying out 90 hours of community service and paying New York City US$1,500 in costs.

Photo: Andrej Ciesielski’s Instagram

Photo: Andrej Ciesielski’s Instagram

Ciesielski says that rooftopping is probably going to get harder in the future, if it doesn’t die out in certain cities altogether. He says he may not return to Hong Kong again because too many people are scaling the buildings here, and thus building managers will crack down on the hobby.

“So rooftopping is dead in Hong Kong. It’s not possible anymore,” he said. “I think people will go to Shanghai, and it will die there too. That’s the problem.”

Hong Kong, he says, is his favourite place, even without the rooftopping, giving him ample opportunity to snap street scenes and people. He says his dream is to become a war photographer for an international news agency.

The teenager is not the first high to post pictures on the internet from the tops of Hong Kong’s biggest buildings. Last year a team who call themselves the “Crazy Russians” got to the top of The Centre in Central – 346 metres above ground..

“We chose Hong Kong because of the city’s many skyscrapers,” Alexander Remnev, a member of the “Crazy Russians” rooftopping team, told the South China Morning Post. Photo: Alexander Remnev

In August of that year, three Hong Kongers took what was dubbed “the world’s scariest selfie” – the trio munching on bananas on top of a skyscraper in Central.

One of those climbers, 23-year-old Daniel Lau, told the SCMP’s James Griffiths he was concerned that as Hong Kong becomes more and more popular with rooftoppers, that teams will become more competitive and aim to carry out ever more dangerous stunts.

“In Russia, they compete to be the first one to get to that roof, or to take the scariest photo ever. We’re not trying to do that,” he said.

“You have to know your limits.”

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 April, 2015, 1:09pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 April, 2015, 2:17pm

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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