Nik Wallenda crossed Niagara Falls last June, the first person to do so. His attempt to cross the Grand Canyon will be televised this June.
Frank GUnn • Canadian Press/Associated Press ,
Next up, it's Wallenda vs. Grand Canyon
- Article by: Patrick Kevin Day
- Los Angeles Times
- March 18, 2013 - 8:17 PM
Nik Wallenda, the man known as “King of the High Wire,” will venture into Evel Knievel territory this summer when he makes a daring high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon. And the curious will be able to watch the whole thing live on Discovery.
Wallenda doesn’t plan to use a safety harness or net. One wrong step and it’s 1,500 feet straight down to the Little Colorado River.
He announced the stunt on NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning, telling Matt Lauer that the Grand Canyon was “another one on the bucket list” of places he’s wanted to traverse via tightrope.
Last year, Wallenda became the first person to walk across Niagara Falls from the United States to Canada, 200 feet above the rushing waters. Wallenda still considers it a bit of a missed opportunity because he wore a safety harness.
“It was my dream to walk over Niagara Falls since I was 5, 6 years old, but part of that dream was taken away because I had to wear [a] harness,” he said on “Today.” “The exciting thing about this event is that I won’t be wearing any tether or safety whatsoever.”
“There’s a lot of updrafts and downdrafts, and the winds are hard to predict. But I’ll be doing a lot of specific training for that,” he told “Today.”
Wallenda said he is embarking on this adventure in honor of his great-grandfather Karl Wallenda, who died in 1968 after falling while trying to walk between the towers of the 10-story Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Wallenda said his latest stunt won’t be his last.
“I want to walk from one continent to another, Europe to Asia, over in Turkey,” he said. “And there are many other locations that I want to walk for sure.”
Knievel, the legendary stunt jumper, once pursued a leap across the Grand Canyon but was denied airspace over the canyon by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Instead, he tried to cross the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in 1974 on a rocket-powered cycle. The jump failed, but Knievel survived with only minor injuries.
Discovery, which had success airing Felix Baumgartner’s dive from the edge of space in October, will air Wallenda’s stunt live on June 23.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
© 2013 Star Tribune