Nik Wallenda

Revisiting Nik Wallenda’s Grand Canyon Walk

June 23, 2013 marked a day of accomplishment for Nik Wallenda. For, that was the
day, six years ago, that Wallenda recorded his Grand Canyon walk video. In the video,
Wallenda crossed a 1,400 foot span of Little Colorado Gorge, 1,500 feet above the
ground, with nothing between him and the canyon floor but a two-inch wire.
Wallenda comes from a family with a long line of tightrope walkers. He is proud of his
heritage and claims he credits his ancestors with his ability and passion for performing
high-wire stunts.

Still, that does not mean that he doesn’t get frightened. On the footage from the 2014
wire walk across a portion of the Grand Canyon, Nik Wallenda prays, asking for a calm
state of mind…and for the wind to calm its buffeting of the wire.

“Whew, that’s a view there!” he says as he clears the edge of the canyon.
Nik Wallenda’s dad, Terry Toffer, speaks with him over an audio feed throughout the
walk. Throughout the walk, his father encourages him but there are moments when the
wind is extremely intense, and it seems that Wallenda might be regretting his decision.
Nevertheless, Wallenda perseveres, continuing to adjust his position to compensate for
the high winds.

The moments, especially leading up to the final stretch were tense. Yet, when he finally
makes to the other side of the canyon, he kissed the ground, before throwing his arms
around his wife.

“It was way more, way more windy,” Wallenda admitted in an interview after the walk,
“And the movement of the cable and the sidewalls as I was walking were getting in the
way and confusing me, as the pendulums are swinging against them, so I try to react
and when I reacted I kicked that rhythm into the cable. It took every bit of me to stay
focused that entire time.”

At the end of the walk, emotional about having completed his mission, Nik Wallenda
admitted that the Grand Canyon walk was a lifelong dream. It is obvious from his
reaction to accomplishing his goal that he is truly moved by the experience.
Later, Nik Wallenda revealed that another high-wire dream of his was to cross between
two skyscrapers in New York City. Six years later, on June 23, 2019, he and his sister,
Lijana Wallenda did just that in Times Square.

If nothing else, Nik Wallenda is certainly someone who knows how to set the bar high
and the wire, even higher.