Nik Wallenda Completes Historic Tightrope Crossing Across Niagara Falls
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On Friday June 15th, 2012, hundreds of thousands of people watched with abated breath as 33-year old stuntman Nik Wallenda, fulfilled a dream he has harbored since he was two years old - Traverse 1,800 feet across one of the world's mightiest waterfalls, balanced on a two-inch wire that had been strung 180 feet in the air.
What made the 25-minute walk that was televised live and watched by over 13 million people worldwide even more amazing, is that it was done over the raging waters of Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three falls that make up Niagara Falls - A feat that had never been attempted before. Even more impressive, was the fact that the event place in the evening, amidst blustery winds and mist so dense, that Nik often disappeared from view and the only thing visible was his bright red shirt and the ends of his balance pole.
Even though Nik was wearing a harness, a safety measure insisted upon by ABC the television network that broadcast the event, his constant maneuvering to keep his balance against the strong winds, made for some heart-stopping moments for the audience.
Nik, however never flinched or slowed down for even one moment. Wearing special anti-slip shoes made by his mother, he remained totally focused on the job at hand. It was only when the acrobat got to the last stretch near Canada's Table Rock that he knelt down on one knee and finally broke into a smile. Waving and blowing kisses to the cheering audience, he knew he had accomplished a feat that most people had deemed impossible.
While he described the whole experience as peaceful and relaxing, Nik said that his biggest challenge came from a totally unexpected source - His 40 pound balancing pole. For reasons he could not explain, it caused his forearms to cramp more than he had ever experienced before. As for his most harrowing moment? The steps he took when he got to the brink of the Falls!
One would think that now that Nik is done with his lifelong dream he would be ready to hang up his 'balancing pole'. However, the adventurer who already has seven Guinness World Records under his belt, is just getting started - Next up? A 5,000-foot tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon. And, while the one across the Niagara Falls took years of planning because he had to convince the US and Canadian officials, this one should happen in the very near future. That's because, the Florida resident has already been granted a permit by the Canyon officials - So, stay tuned!
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