Daredevil Nik Wallenda became
the first person to walk on a tightrope across the Niagara Falls, taking
steady, measured steps Friday night for 1,800 feet across the mist-fogged
brink of the roaring falls separating the U.S. and Canada.
Afterward, he said he
accomplished the feat through "a lot of praying, that's for sure. But, you
know, it's all about the concentration, the focus, and the training."
The seventh-generation member
of the famed Flying Wallendas had long dreamed of pulling off the stunt,
never before attempted. Other daredevils have wire-walked over the Niagara
River but farther downstream and not since 1896.
"This is what dreams are made
of, people," Wallenda said shortly after he began walking the wire.
He took steady, measured steps
amid the rushing mist over the falls as an estimated crowd of 125,000
people on the Canadian side and 4,000 on the American side watched. Along
the way, he calmly prayed aloud.
ABC televised the walk and
insisted Wallenda use a tether to keep him from falling in the river.
Wallenda said he agreed because he wasn't willing to lose the chance and
needed ABC's sponsorship to help offset some of the $1.3 million cost of
For the 33-year-old father of
three, the Niagara Falls walk was unlike anything he'd ever done. Because
it was over water, the 2-inch wire didn't have the usual stabilizer cables
to keep it from swinging. Pendulum anchors were designed to keep it from
twisting under the elkskin-soled shoes designed by his mother.
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