Nik Wallenda Walks on a Tightrope Crossing Niagara Falls (Video)
Nik Wallenda’s dream came true on June 15, 2012 when he finally walked on a tightrope crossing the famous Niagara Falls in Canada. This is the first time that the stunt has been attempted.
Wallenda, 33, who is a member of the famous “Flying Wallendas” family of aerialists, completed his journey of 1,800 feet across the Niagara Falls for about 25 minutes walking on a 2-inch (5-cm) cable.
On the day of the tightrope walk, crowds estimated in the tens of thousands gathered on the American side of the Niagara Falls. On the Canadian side, the crowd was estimated at 120,000 people.
Due to the location, the wire couldn’t use supports and had to be custom made. As a result, the wire was able to sway significantly in the breeze, making the crossing more difficult than it would have been with stationary supports.
To make the walk accessible to viewers worldwide, it was held after dark, with the first step coming at 10:16 p.m. local time. This time was also advantageous to Wallenda, as half of the volume of water going over the falls is diverted for power generation purposes after dusk.
“There was no way to focus on the movement of the cable. If I looked down at the cable there was water moving everywhere. And if I looked up there was heavy mist blowing in front of my face. So it was a very unique, a weird sensation,” Wallenda said.
Talking to ABC reporters live, as he entered the final phase of the trip, he admitted, “I’m drained… My hands are going numb. I feel like I’m getting weak.” Near the end, he stopped, got down on one knee, and blew a kiss to the crowd. He got up, pumped his fist, and ran the final few feet. He completed the crossing of Niagara Falls at 10:41 PM EDT, 25 minutes after he started.
After completing the tightrope walk, Wallenda said it was more difficult than he had expected. “I feel like I’m on cloud nine right now. That mist was thick. It was hard to see at times. The wind was wild. It’d come at me one way and hit me from the front, and hit me from the back.”
ABC televised the tightrope walk and insisted Nik Wallenda to use a tether to keep him from falling in the river. Wallenda said he agreed because he wasn’t willing to lose the chance to perform the walk it took him well over a year to win permission from two countries to do. Such stunts are normally illegal. ABC’s sponsorship helped offset some of the $1.3 million cost of the spectacle.
Nik Wallenda is an American aerialist, high wire artist, acrobat, daredevil, and six-time Guinness World Record holder known as “The King of the Wire”. He is known for death-defying performances on highwire without a safety net.
Below is the video of Nik Wallenda crossing Niagara falls on a tight rope.