The Walk of Death: Nik Wallenda Walks Across Niagara Falls

The Walk of Death: Nik Wallenda Walks Across Niagara Falls

The Wallenda family likes challenges, and Nik Wallenda had plenty of them tonight when he attempted to do what nobody had ever done before: A high wire walk directly over the precipice at Niagara Falls and 190 feet above the churning torrent below. Although he was tethered to the wire to prevent falling to a near-certain death, the seventh-generation funambulist still had to contend with wind, water and an unfamiliar wire when he attempted the high-wire walk from the U.S. to Canada.

In 2008, Wallenda broke a high-wire record when he walked and bicycled on a tightrope high above the buildings in Newark, New Jersey. Today he embarked on a far more arduous trek: walking across a tightrope over Niagara Falls. Confronted by all these life-threatening perils, Nik Wallenda, descendant of the legendary circus act The Flying Wallendas, successfully tightroped 1,800 feet in the dark of night over treacherous waters and rocks across Niagara Falls and managed to make it all the way across.

About a dozen other tightrope artists have crossed the Niagara Gorge downstream, dating back to Jean Francois Gravelet, aka The Great Blondin, in 1859. However, no one has walked directly over the falls, and authorities haven’t allowed any tightrope acts in the area since 1896. It took Wallenda two years to persuade U.S. and Canadian authorities to allow it, and many civic leaders hoped to use the publicity to jump=start the region’s struggling economy, particularly on the U.S. side of the falls.

Read more about Nik Wallenda’s daredevil walk in The New York Times here.

The Walk of Death: Nik Wallenda Walks Across Niagara Falls

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