Nik Wallenda

Daredevil Readies for Highest Tightrope Attempt in History

Grand Canyon High-Wire Act to Put Viewers on Edge… Will you watch Nik Wallenda walk across the Grand Canyon?

What does aerialist, Nik Wallenda, do after finishing his highwire walk across Niagara Falls? He sets his sight on even bigger challenges. On June 23, the seventh-generation member of the “Flying Wallendas” family of acrobats will attempt to cross the Grand Canyon National Park on a steel wire with the Colorado River 1,500 feet below him. With no safety nets or tethers, this will be the highest wire walk attempt for the father of three, at a height taller than all skyscrapers in New York City. Discovery Channel will broadcast the epic live event with a social campaign that encourages audiences across the globe to join Team Wallenda.

small_Nik-Wallenda-150x198In the meantime, Wallenda is preparing for the conditions he is likely to face at the Canyon. He has been practicing hard in his hometown of Sarasota, Florida. The Florida heat is humid as opposed to dry, but the temperatures cooperate, with heat rising through 80 degrees. Daytime highs at the Grand Canyon can reach 119 degrees. Visitors are always warned about extreme weather conditions prior to participating in Grand Canyon tours. However, the high heat may not be the only problem for Wallenda.  Winds that come up around the Canyon could pose yet another challenge. In order to practice, Wallenda recently took advantage of the Tropical Storm Andrea which lingers onshore along the Florida Coast. He faced some very heavy winds during a test run.

Wallenda seems positive that the canyon’s winds won’t be a problem for him. He often emphasizes positive thinking and mental concentration as part of his success.

Wallenda started tightrope walking at the tender age of 2. Since then, the daredevil has had his share of obstacles, such as a bee sting and birds landing on his pole while performing.

Wallenda commented that he uses no rituals or superstitions before his performances. He prays with his family, telling them he’ll be back in a little bit.

While practicing, spectators’ eyes are always on him. On the wire cable, Wallenda projects the vision of a ballet dancer and body builder combined. Afterwards he sat down and encouraged the crowd to ask questions. Here’s what some spectators wanted to know and what Wallenda answered.

How much does the balancing pole weigh? Forty-three pounds. Does Wallenda work out? Yes. How long will Wallenda’s walk across the Grand Canyon last? Between twenty to thirty minutes.

He also spoke about the dangers that come with these stunts. His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, died during a tightrope walk in Puerto Rico. Wallenda revealed that his great-grandfather’s age and previous injuries caused his fall. According to Wallenda, he knows when the time is right to retire.

But at age 34, Nik Wallenda is not ready to do that yet; instead he gets ready to fulfill what has been a dream of his for years – a 1,500-foot drop below him.

We want to know. Will you watch Nik Wallenda perform his high-wire act?  If so, will you be at the event while on your spectacular Grand Canyon vacation? Share your views with our readers.