lunes, 18 de junio de 2012

Niagara Falls tightrope walker Nik Wallenda prepares for high-wire act

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REUTERS/Doug Benz
Nik Wallenda practices for his upcoming wire walk over the horseshoe falls, at the Seneca Niagara Casino parking lot in Niagara Falls, New York May 22, 2012.
 
Nik Wallenda, a member of the famed “Flying Wallendas” family of aerialists, admits to being nervous ahead of tonight’s historic attempt to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
“It’s more anticipation and eagerness, but it’s all coming down to the wire, no pun intended,” Wallenda, 33, told a news conference.

AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Harry Scull Jr.
Nik Wallenda poses the 2 in diameter giant tight-rope wire that will be installed for practice at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls on Thursday, May 10, 2012.


Wallenda is set to walk from the U.S. side of the falls to the Canadian side, and said he will carry his passport. Television sponsors have insisted he wear a safety tether, a first for him, that will connect him to the cable should he fall.
Wallenda intends to walk a two-inch (5 cm) cable strung 1,800 feet (550 meters) through the mist over Niagara Falls Gorge, a feat never before attempted. The walk is 150 feet (46 meters) above the falls, he said.
More than a century ago, an aerialist known as the Great Blondin walked a high wire strung farther down the gorge, but a trek over the brink of the falls has never been attempted.
Wallenda is due to take his first measured steps on the wire just after 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT), to be shown on ABC television with a five-second delay. Wallenda predicted that up to a billion people internationally would see his 45-minute stunt.
“Hopefully it will be very peaceful and relaxing,” he said. “I’m often very relaxed when I’m on the wire.”
He added, “There may be some tears because this is a dream of mine.”




REUTERS/Doug Benz
Nik Wallenda poses for a photo after a news conference discussing his upcoming wire walk over the Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls, as he stands at the American Falls, Niagara Falls May 2, 2012.


Since the Great Blondin took his high-wire walk, a ban has been in place on similar stunts over the famed falls. Wallenda waged a two-year crusade to convince U.S. and Canadian officials to let him try the feat.

AP Photo/David Duprey
Nik Wallenda performs a walk on a tightrope with the Skylon Tower in the background on his final day of training in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Tuesday, May 22, 2012.

Wallenda’s great grandfather Karl Wallenda died in 1978 during a walk between two buildings in Puerto Rico at age 73. Wallenda repeated that walk last year with his mother.

AP Photo/David Duprey
Scott O'Shea rigs a tower in preparation for Nik Wallenda's tightrope walk in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

Wallenda said he has obtained permits for a future walk over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, which would be the first ever attempted and roughly three times longer than the walk over Niagara Falls.

AP Photo/David Duprey
Nik Wallenda performs a walk on a tightrope in the rain during training for his walk over Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

Nik Wallenda performs a walk on a tightrope in the rain during training for his walk over Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Wednesday, May 16, 2012.
Natalie D'Amico waits in line for an autographed poster by Nik Wallenda in Niagara Falls, Canada, Wednesday, June 13, 2012.
 Credits: National Post
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