High wire walker Nick Wallenda, a member of the famous “Flying Wallendas” family, made history Friday night in Niagara Falls, as he traversed the brink of the falls on a 2 inch wire. Wallenda is the only person to ever perform such a stunt at the world famous falls. Similar stunts have been done in the past, but only further along the river over the gorge, and not over the brink of the falls itself. Wallenda carefully traversed the cable which stretched from Goat Island, on the American side of the falls, to Table Rock which is situated on the Canadian side.
Wallenda had been trying to acquire permission to attempt the feat for some time, before Canadian authorities finally granted access to try the stunt, setting aside a 128 year old law forbidding such stunts. Nick Wallenda, 33, said that his inspiration was his great grandfather, Karl Wallenda, patriarch of the famous high wire walking family of performers. Karl Wallenda tragically fell to his death in 1978 in Puerto Rico during an ill fated high wire walk between two city skyscrapers.
Nick Wallenda was required to wear a safety tether, which would keep him from plummeting from the wire into the churning falls were he to lose his balance and fall. Wallenda was ordered to wear the tether and keep it attached at all times by the ABC TV network, who broadcast the feat live on national TV. ABC officials said that they would stop filming the stunt immediately if Wallenda removed the tether at any point during the stunt.
As he completed the trek, Wallenda was greeted by his family members at the Table Rock destination, along with Canadian officials who humourously asked to see his passport upon his arrival. Wallenda said that his feat was meant to inspire people around the world. Next up for the famous daredevil is a planned walk across the Grand Canyon, for which Wallenda says he already has secured permission.