Nino Frediani stands in his kitchen, ready for an impromptu demonstration of his craft: throwing things into the air with controlled abandon.
“This is how a normal juggler does it,” he says, launching three small yellow balls above his head. But the 73-year-old Frediani is no normal juggler. After a few rotations, he tosses one ball almost to the ceiling and misses its return. It hits the floor and rolls under the table.
“Now, this is how I do it.”
He starts again. This time the balls remain only inches from his grasp, their orbits fast and tight, almost dizzying. Suddenly, he grabs them all at once, with a satisfied smile that says, “I’ve done it again. I’ve beaten the odds.”
For decades, Frediani carried a secret as he traveled across Europe and Africa with an act that earned him acclaim as the world’s fastest juggler. Since 1980, he’s performed on small stages around Las Vegas — tossing rings, knives and torches that could easily slice an arm or burn a leg. Yet he stubbornly refused to tell either his employers or audiences the truth.
He’s legally blind.
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