By SHANNON KELLY
Daredevils have gone over Niagara Falls in barrels, boats and inner tubes and have crossed the Niagara Gorge on high wire, but no one has attempted to cross the falls themselves on a tightrope.
This Friday Nik Wallenda is preparing to be the first person to do just that, when he walks 1,500 feet across a wire suspended 173 feet over Niagara Falls.
It’s a difficult feat: winds in the area have reached 50 kilometres per hour in recent years and he’ll be walking without the usual stabilizer cables, which can’t be secured over water.
A seasoned high-wire performer, Wallenda’s walks are always death-defying, but this time television network ABC, which is filming the walk, has insisted that Wallenda wear a tether that will prevent him from falling into the rapids if he loses his footing. Fearing the loss of an opportunity he’s worked two years to secure, Wallenda agreed, though reluctantly. “I feel like I’m cheating” he told the Canadian Press.
But he seemed in good spirits on June 11, tweeting “Practices are going great, conditions are looking good, I really cannot wait for #Niagara.”
Hoping to see Wallenda’s high-wire act in person? The event is free and open to the public on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, but arrive early as parking is limited. Free vouchers to see the walk on the U.S. side of the falls were distributed June 1, but were snatched up in 10 minutes.
Watch Wallenda’s walk live online at Where.ca, Friday, June 15 at 8 pm ET.