Man of the Mist
blog by S.J. Velasquez • February 16, 2012 @ 10:21am
Nik Wallenda’s a determined and persistent guy, to say the very least. For months, Wallenda’s been working on Canadian officials to have them reverse their decision that denied him permission to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
“Persistence pays off,” Wallenda told the Buffalo News. “To get the green light—I feel like I’m on top of the world.”
As of Wednesday, Wallenda’s been granted permission by Canadian parks officials to cross the gorge, a stunt that is allowed only once every 20 years. He is tentatively scheduled to cross the falls this summer.
Wallenda, a seventh-generation daredevil from the famous Flying Wallendas stunt family, said in a press conference that he’s dreamed of this opportunity since his childhood.
“This has been a dream of mine ever since I was 6 years old,” Wallenda said, according to the Associated Press.
Wallenda walked his first wire at age 2, according to his personal website. The 32-year-old comes from a “circus dynasty,” his bio reads. In 1928, Wallenda’s great-grandfather Karl Wallenda was scouted by the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The Wallenda family quickly became known for its dangerous feats, including the seven-person pyramid on high-wire.
Generations later Nik Wallenda, would become known as the heir to the Wallenda legacy. Some of his most recent stunts have been captured on camera for “Life on a Wire,” a Discovery Channel reality series documenting the daredevil’s not-so-typical day job that is scheduled to air in the fall.
When he attempts to cross Niagara Falls by wire, Nik Wallenda explained on his personal website that he’s ready for the worst:
“Worst-case scenario, I sit down on the wire, the helicopter swoops in, I hook on and they get me out of there. I look goofy, but nobody gets hurt.”
The Wallenda family has defied death on numerous occasions, but not every time. Multiple members of the family and its touring group have fallen to their deaths or been seriously injured. Even Karl Wallenda, the daredevil patriarch himself, fell to his death at age 73.
The image above was tweeted by Nik Wallenda on Sunday. Pictured are Wallenda, left, and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.