Daredevil Finishes Ferris Wheel Stunt, Snaps Selfie

Nik Wallenda successfully walks the 400-foot-high Orlando Eye
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2015 11:51 AM CDT
Updated Apr 29, 2015 11:35 AM CDT

In the days leading up to one of his craziest stunts ever, tightrope walker Nik Wallenda did the following: Dropped his kid off at school. Painted windowsills. Mowed the lawn. "It's not like I'm preparing for the end of my life," the 36-year-old said. "I'm a father, a husband, and a homeowner." One with a highly unusual, risky job: Born into a famous family of daredevils, Wallenda has traversed a tightrope stretched across the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and in between Chicago skyscrapers. Today, he conquered another challenge, walking—untethered—atop the spinning 400-foot-high Orlando Eye without a balancing pole or safety net, in an event broadcast live on NBC's Today.

"This is definitely a dream of mine,'' Wallenda said from atop the structure. "I'm living out what my family has done for over 200 years. To be able to fulfill these life-long dreams is an awesome feeling of accomplishment." The rain mostly held off for the stunt as Wallenda reached the top of the giant Ferris wheel like any normal spectator, in a passenger capsule, before climbing out and down a ladder to an outer rim about 6 inches wide. Though he initially complained of wind, he appeared to have no trouble with his walk. And when it was all over, he celebrated with a selfie. (More Nik Wallenda stories.)

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