Super hero movies have never been more popular. While we have many opportunities to see our favorite comic book characters on the big screen, it’s rare to actually witness the same kind of spectacle in real life.
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Stunned onlookers in Paris watched helplessly as a four-year-old child dangled from a fourth-floor balcony. Firefighters had yet to arrive, and the only thing keeping the kid from falling was a neighbor desperately holding on from another balcony. Enter Mamoudou Gassama, a 22-year-old Malian immigrant who, without pause, climbed up the building and pulled the child to safety in a spectacular scene captured from the ground. It can be seen below.
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When asked about the daring rescue, Gassama said, “I saw all these people shouting, and cars sounding their horns. I climbed up like that and, thank God, I saved the child. I felt afraid when I saved the child ... we went into the living room, I started to shake, I could hardly stand up, I had to sit down.” It makes sense that this type of unbelievable bravery would generate an incredible amount of adrenaline, and watching the footage it’s easy to see why.
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The video has gone viral, leading Gassama to receive far more benefits for his heroism than just online accolades. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo called him personally to share her gratitude, and gave him the official moniker of “Spider Man of the 18th,” in regard to the district where the extreme event took place. Gassama was honored at Elysee Palace by president Emmanuel Macron, who granted him citizenship in exchange for what he called "an exceptional act."