Daredevil Nik Wallenda has completed a breath-taking tightrope walk that took him a quarter mile over the Little Colorado River Gorge in northeastern Arizona. Wallenda performed the stunt late on Sunday on a 2-inch-thick steel cable, 1,500 feet above the river on the Navajo Nation near the Grand Canyon.
He took just more than 22 minutes, pausing and crouching twice as winds whipped around him and the rope swayed. ‘Thank you Lord. Thank you for calming that cable, God,’ he said about 13 minutes into the walk.
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Breath-taking: Nik Wallenda succeeded in crossing the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona on Sunday night
Balancing act: Wallenda is the first person ever to attempt walking across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope
Wallenda didn’t wear a harness and stepped slowly and steady throughout, murmuring prayers to Jesus almost constantly along the way. He jogged and hopped the last few steps.
Winds blowing across the gorge had been expected to be around 30 mph. Wallenda told Discovery after the walk that the winds were at times ‘unpredictable’ and that dust had accumulated on his contact lenses. ‘It was way more windy, and it took every bit of me to stay focused the entire time,’ he said
The 34-year-old Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous ‘Flying Wallendas’ circus family – a clan that is no stranger to death-defying feats.
About 600 spectators watching on a large video screen on site cheered him on as he walked toward them. A Navajo Nation ranger, a paramedic and two members of a film crew were stationed on the canyon floor and watched from below.
Man on the wire: Wallenda’s stunt was broadcast with a ten-second delay on the Discovery Channel
Almost there! Wallenda managed to run the last few feet of his tightrope walk over the Grand Canyon which was broadcast live on TV