Wallenda Completes High-Wire Walk Over Niagara Falls | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Wallenda Completes High-Wire Walk Over Niagara Falls

Nik Wallenda has successfully walked across Niagra Falls on a 2-inch-wide cable. As if there wasn't enough drama, he added a bit of last-minute mystery to his audacious attempt.

If you're not familiar with the story, Wallenda wanted to become the first person to walk across Niagra Falls on a tightrope. As ABC reports, it was a lifelong dream:

"Others have crossed the Niagara River itself, but never over the falls. Wallenda said that tonight's feat will be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream as well as a chance to honor his great-grandfather, legendary funambilist Karl Wallenda, who died after falling from a tightrope in Puerto Rico in 1978.

"Wallenda, 33, has called his great-grandfather his "biggest inspiration" and said he will be thinking of him during the stunt. The 1,500-foot walk between Goat Island in the U.S. side to Table Rock in Canada will be fraught with unforgiving natural conditions: blinding mist and drafts created by the force of the waterfalls crashing down on the Niagara River.

"Those obstacles notwithstanding, Wallenda told reporters Thursday that he hopes the walk will be "peaceful and relaxing."

Earlier this evening, one question was still up in the air: Would Wallenda wear a safety harness?

The Los Angeles Times reports that ABC had threatened to kill the broadcast if he went untethered.

Wallenda told the paper that he's used to walking without a harness, so doing this with one might make things more dangerous.

"The truth is, mentally it might add to it," Wallenda said.

Update at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Walk Begins:

Wallenda is walking across the tight rope, lights blaring down and water spraying around him. Upon ABC's insistence, he is using a tether, the Associated Press reports:

"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 the spectacle."

Update at 10:45 p.m. ET. A Dream Fulfilled:

Wallenda is safely on the ground in Canada after 25 minutes of suspense. He pulled out his passport and said the purpose of his trip was "to inspire people all over the world," according to ABC.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Mexican TV Icon Roberto Gómez Bolaños Dies At 85

The actor, writer and director was a staple of Mexican television comedies and children's programs for decades.
NPR

From Humble Salt To Fancy Freezing: How To Up Your Cocktail Game

You don't need to have liquid nitrogen at your next cocktail party — but it's certainly a sure-fire way to impress your guests. Expert mixologist Dave Arnold walks you through it.
NPR

Week In Politics: Hagel's Resignation, Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of the New York Times about the grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson and the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
NPR

Millennial Doctors May Be More Tech-Savvy, But Is That Better?

Text messages from your doctor are just the start. Millennials are the next generation of doctors and they're not afraid to say "chillax" in a consultation or check Twitter to find medical research.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.