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Wallenda Delivers on Canyon Walk, Gives Falls Another PR Boost

By Tony Farina

Wallenda wire walking across the Grand Canyon.

It may not have been the Grand Canyon proper, as it was billed, but Nik Wallenda’s breathtaking high-wire walk without a harness across a 1,500-foot tall gorge near the Grand Canyon last Sunday was another amazing feat for the incredible Wallenda.

The 34-year-old aerialist captured the world’s attention last year with his nighttime walk across mighty Niagara Falls on live television, but in that incredible journey he was required to be tethered to the steel cable by ABC, which broadcast the event around the world.

On Sunday night, he wore no attachment and it was, as he said, a “do-or-die” walk across the Little Colorado River Gorge on the Navajo Nation that was broadcast, and much hyped, by the Discovery Channel, which had in place a 10-second delay just in case he fell.

Wallenda couldn’t get permission from the government to walk across the Grand Canyon proper, a distance of from 10 to 18 miles. Instead, he walked across the river gorge, a distance of about 1,400 feet, in a thrilling spectacle that had many praying for his safety as he walked gingerly across the gorge, a camera attached showing just how far down he would fall if he lost his balance.

It took Wallenda an agonizing 22 minutes to make the harrowing walk and there were times he appeared to be near collapse from the obvious peril and the winds that cropped up, forcing him to sit for a few seconds on at least two occasions to regain his focus and, it seemed, his balance.

Wallenda, as he did last year in the Falls crossing, sprinted to the finish line and got down and kissed the ground.

In case anyone watching needed a reminder about Wallenda’s historic walk across Niagara Falls, N.Y., Niagara USA had plenty of television spots leading up to the walk itself with the sensational nighttime shots of the wind and water-whipped Wallenda crossing the falls last year, an event that put the city on the world stage for weeks leading up to the event.

Wallenda gave the city another good boost with his latest bit of history.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

JUN 25, 2013