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Nik Wallenda Successfully Crosses Grand Canyon on 2" Wire



As Nik Wallenda walked a stretch of the Grand Canyon gorge, he did so on the same wire, put there by the same company, that helped him traverse Niagara Falls one year ago

Hear from Michael Parkes at O'Connell Electric in Rochester




LITTLE COLORADO RIVER GORGE, Ariz. (AP) -- Florida aerialist Nik Wallenda has completed a tightrope walk that took him a quarter mile over the Little Colorado River Gorge in northeastern Arizona.
 
Wallenda performed the stunt late Sunday on a 2-inch-thick steel cable, 1,500 feet above the river on the Navajo Nation near the Grand Canyon. He wasn't wearing a harness.
 
The event was broadcast live on the Discovery Channel.
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The 34-year-old Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family - a clan that is no stranger to death-defying feats.
 
Wallenda says he has wondered what it would be like to cross an area he considers the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager.
 
Now he knows.
Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family - a clan that is no stranger to death-defying feats and great tragedy.
 
His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73. Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have perished while performing wire walking stunts.
 
Nik Wallenda, who was born a year after his great-grandfather died, began wire walking at the age of 2, on a 2-foot high stretched rope. He grew up performing with his family and has dreamed of crossing the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager.
 
French high-wire walker Philippe Petit had that same desire and set up a cable above the Little Colorado River, but Navajo officials said he never went through with the stunt and left his equipment there only to be taken down recently by Wallenda's crew.
 
"I don't understand why he didn't," Wallenda said. "It's a site that works, makes sense. He clearly failed at it, so I want to do it successfully."
 
Petit didn't return messages left by The Associated Press.


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Locations : ArizonaColoradoFloridaGorgeNortheastern Arizona
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