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Nik Wallenda Crosses Grand Canyon on Tightrope

Nik Wallenda walks across the grand canyon
Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images

What is it about daredevils that make us all stop what we’re doing just to watch? It may the death defying stunt, or breaking a world record or the chance that failure would equal death, which let’s be honest, is the whole reason anyone tunes in to watch these modern day daredevils perform. It’s not that you want to see them fail and injure themselves but if there is the slightest chance of something like that happening, you want to be able to say you saw it happen. Well last night Nik Wallenda pushed his luck to the edge, and it paid off. Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous “Flying Wallendas” circus family, and last night he might have taken on one of the most dangerous challenges anyone in his family has ever faced.

Nik Wallenda walked 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge in the Grand Canyon across a 2 inch thick steel cable with no harnesses or safety nets, across a distance as long as four football fields. And it only took him 22 minutes to complete the task. The task seems hard enough just thinking about it, but it only got harder as he stepped out on the line. The wind in the canyon was gusting around 30 MPH and Wallenda told the Discovery Channel after the walk that the winds were at times “unpredictable” and that dust had accumulated on his contact lenses. “It was way more windy, and it took every bit of me to stay focused the entire time,” he said.

The daredevil already holds seven world records including the longest walk over a waterfall, which he achieved last year when he crossed Niagara Falls, and the highest bicycle tightrope (235ft), completed in October 2008. So after last night what’s his next move? Nik said that he hoped his next stunt would be a tightrope rock between the Empire State building and the Chrysler building in New York, although he also said he would give up his daredevil nature if his family asked him to. See Nik’s final moments on the tightrope below.

 

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