Monday, June 24, 2013

Nik Wallenda crossed Grand Canyon

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Daredevil Nik Wallenda trying to cross gorge near Grand Canyon

Daredevil Nik Wallenda is using the Navajo Nation as a backdrop to one of his most ambitious feats yet — crossing a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda

Daredevil Nik Wallenda

The 34-year-old Sarasota, Fla., resident will set out Sunday on a quarter-mile cable stretched over the gorge that was eyed by another high-wire performer decades ago. The stunt performance comes a year after he traversed Niagara Falls earning a seventh Guinness world record. He'll be using the same 2-inch-thick cable he used to cross the falls, only this time he won't be wearing a safety harness.
After saying a prayer, "I give my wife and kids a hug and a kiss and tell them I'll see them in a bit," he told reporters Friday in Flagstaff.
Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family — a clan that is no stranger to death-defying feats and great tragedy.
His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73. Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have perished while performing wire walking stunts.
Nik Wallenda, who was born a year after his great-grandfather died, began wire walking at the age of 2, on a 2-foot high stretched rope. He grew up performing with his family and has dreamed of crossing the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager.


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