Mar 7th, 2012 Toni Williams
Nik Wallenda is an American High Wire Artist that is known for performing death defying acts on a highwire without a safety net. Wallenda was born January 24, 1979 in Sarasota Florida, and began performing with his family at a very early age. Nik Wallenda is a seventh-generation circus performer, scion of the famed Flying Wallendas. He set the world record for the farthest distance traveled by bicycle on a high wire. And now he has set his sights on Niagara Falls. Nik Wallenda will walk across 1,800 feet across the gorge, (approximately 1,800 feet), of Niagara Falls while balancing on a two-inch-diameter steel cable. the event will take approximately 40 minutes. "This is a dream of mine that I’ve always wanted to do, " Mr. Wallenda, a 32-year-old father of three, said on Thursday, sitting on the pool deck of a hotel here and surveying the waterworks in the distance. "I get chills thinking about it." Niagara Falls has a long history of attracting stuntmen, and stunt women, eager to taste the thrill, and the fame, of plunging over the cascade packed into wine barrels, rubber inner tubes or hot water tanks. Annie Taylor, a 63-year-old schoolteacher, pioneered the barrel plunge in 1901 and lived to tell about it. Other daredevils followed; not everyone fared as well. Nik Wallenda, star of “Life on a Wire,” has cheated death several times with his wild high-wire acts. Wallenda, a seventh-generation acrobat, wants to walk across a wire in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 2012. Wallenda, 33, is a well-established professional who began walking the wire when he was 4. It is the first time anyone has attempted to walk on a tightrope over the actual waterfall since 1859 the acrobat Charles Blondin crossed the gorge on a tightrope, but his stunt was downstream from the actual waterfall. The Niagara Parks Commission says they will consider a proposal like this only once every 20 years, even from a professional daredevil. Which makes Wallenda’s venture all the more notable. It will be two decades before anyone will be allowed to even try repeating this walk.