Tightrope Walker Gets OK to Cross Niagara Falls

Nik Wallenda will walk from US to Canada on the high wire
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2012 11:08 AM CST
In this Aug. 3, 2011 file photo, tightrope walker Nik Wallenda poses for a photo after a news conference in Niagara Falls, NY.   (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)
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(Newser) – It's official: Nik Wallenda will walk a tightrope from the United States to Canada … over Niagara Falls. The stunt was finally approved by the Ontario Parks Commission after commissioners initially denied the request over concerns about cost, safety, and the beauty of the falls, WIVB reports. "To get that green light, I feel like I'm on top of the world," says Wallenda, who reportedly addressed each of the commission's concerns. "The purpose, the public purpose for actually doing it is to pay tribute to the rich history, the long ago history of tightrope walking and daredevils at Niagara Falls."

Wallenda, a member of the daredevil Wallenda family, is an aerial artist who has "done walks longer and higher," he says. This one will go over the Horse Shoe Falls and will take 30 to 45 minutes using an 1,800-foot cable. Wallenda will walk without a tether, but will have a clip on his belt that will ensure he is held by the wire if something goes wrong. This may be the only time we ever see such an event again; the commission's interim chairwoman notes that "we've made it very clear that this is not a regular activity and it's not something that we're going to be looking for further applications for. This is a very unique one-off." No date has been set.

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