Saturday, 16 June 2012

Nik Wallenda tightrope walks across Niagara Falls

As he made it to the lip of the Falls, he answered some questions saying the view was "breathtaking" and that he was enjoying himself on the wire.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda has just done what no one else has ever done before.
The 33-year-old tightrope walker from Florida has crossed about 500 metres across the Horseshoe Falls part of Niagara Falls on a wire that is only six centimetres thick.
In front of a crowd of more than100,000 and millions more on television, Wallenda was raised up to the wire with a power lift and then slowly put the elk-skin soled shoes made by his mother.
He then hit the dip where water was visibly dripping from the wire and a misty wind was swirling around his head.
"What an amazing opportunity, what a blessing," he said just after passing the middle.

"That mist was thick...It was definitely quite a challenge," he said shortly before the end. "Fighting that wind wasn't easy and my hands are going numb."
When he got close, thousands of people waiting on the Canadian side to greet him started cheering. Wallenda took his right hand off the pole and did a fist pump and then kneeled down.
In case you are wondering, he did bring his passport to get into the country and he showed it to customs officials. He said he was not bringing anything over and the purpose of his trip was to "Inspire people around the world."
As he took his final steps, the smile on his face got bigger and bigger. He ran the last few steps, putting a playful end to the historic stunt that lasted 26 minutes.
The last time someone tightrope walked across the Falls was in 1896, but others who have crossed the Falls walked across a tamer part of the river. Wallenda is the first to walk directly over the Falls, about 60 metres up.
For Wallenda, this walk was a dream come true. He had hoped to do it since his first visit at the age of six. His father told him many times to give up the dream, but Wallenda actively pursued it for two years, trying to convince governments in both countries to let him do it.
Wallenda comes from a long line of daredevils. At a news conference before the walk, he said that his kids are so used to dad walking a wire they don't even look up from their Nintendos. Wallenda can trace his roots to 1780 Austria-Hungary, where his ancestors travelled as a band of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, animal trainers and trapeze artists. Fourteen Wallenda family members currently perform in various troupes and many have completed walks all around the world. Family patriarch, Nik's great-grandfather Karl, fell to his death while attempting a walk between two hotel towers in Puerto Rico in 1978.
Wallenda first stepped on a wire at age two and has six Guinness records, including the longest distance and greatest height travelled on a wire by bicycle - 50 metres.
When asked what's next, Wallenda said he has the permit to be the first person to walk across the Grand Canyon.

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