Nik Wallenda: Walking On Air

 AP Photo

 AP Photo

Nik Wallenda recently surfaced in world news for walking a quarter of a mile across the Little Colorado River in the Grand Canyon…on a tightrope, with no harness, and no safety net. Here at Aubin we immediately started looking up videos and articles about this action hero who had somehow never crossed our radar. What we found is astounding.

 

34-year-old Nik Wallenda comes from a long line of high wire performers. He’s been learning to master the stunt since he began to walk, and was performing professionally by the time he was thirteen. Although there have been quite a few tightrope deaths in the family, Nik was determined to pursue the family trade. After watching his parents struggle to make a living in the circus, however, he decided to evolve the practice into something a little more lucrative, but more importantly, a little more daring.

 

The performers in his family have executed some incredible stunts, including a 7-man pyramid. The clan eventually coined the term Skywalk when they started parading across wires in new locations, tall buildings, and remarkably high public spectacles. Today, Nik Wallenda has taken Skywalking to a new level.

 

Mark Blinch / Reuters

Mark Blinch / Reuters

Before the Grand Canyon, Nik walked 200 ft in the air across Niagara Falls. The walk was 1550 ft across, which he performed with a harness. The event was epic, and by far the most challenging stunt Nik had ever done, having to endure high-speed winds and a wet zone. But this most recent stunt trumped even that.

Click here to watch what a television record breaking 13 million people watched live: Nik Wallenda walking across the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona. The 30mph winds clearly affect his stride; you can see the wire swinging. It is 1,500 ft up and 1,400 ft across. The most amazing part…Nik isn’t wearing a harness. This is a true action on the stage of real life. He may not be flying but he sure is walking on air.

AP Photo

AP Photo