Nik Wallenda admitted he was worried as he inched his way across the thin steel wire that spanned two countries.
Wallenda isn’t cocky enough to proclaim himself the world’s greatest daredevil or bravest man based on his death-defying accomplishments over the years. That only leaves one other possibility.
“Maybe I am nuts,” he says with a big laugh during a recent chat. “For seven generations and 200 years, my family has been performing in front of live audiences. Wire-walking in my family dates back to the late 1800s [and the Wallendas] started performing back in the 1780s, so this is life to me.”
Wallenda is well aware of the inherent risks in his profession. In 1978, the year before he was born, Wallenda’s great-grandfather Karl Wallenda, who was 73, died when he fell from a wire while attempting to walk between two hotel towers in Puerto Rico.
But from his great-grandfather’s death sprung an important Wallenda family lesson.
“The truth is he should have retired sooner,” Wallenda says very matter-of-factly. “He definitely should have retired sooner and he would still be alive today. And from that we’ve learned the lesson [that] there is a time where we have to put the balancing pole down and pass it on to the next generation.”
Casual conversations with the stars. Watch the Emmy-winning Curtain Call with David Spatz, Saturdays at 6pm on WMGM-TV NBC40.
Nik Wallenda did it in style. The world famous daredevil pulled off a feat that amazed 150,000 onlookers crowding the beach and Boardwalk in Atlantic City when he walked on a wire 125 ft. above the sand, from Sovereign Ave. and the beach, adjacent to Atlantic Club Casino, and finished 1,500 feet later above the beach at Tropicana Casino & Resort.
On June 25, daredevil Nik Wallenda traversed a two-inch wire across countries on June 25, becoming the first person to ever walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
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Back in 1928, John Ringling hired the innovative wire-walker Karl Wallenda and his family troupe, the Great Wallendas, for his circus. Later known as the Flying Wallendas, they became the best-known ...
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