We find it pretty inspiring that Nik Wallenda is out to walk over the Grand Canyon on a high wire this weekend. We’re not saying that we’d allow our children to do it, though. We just think it’s okay for our children to watch the live broadcast this Sunday on the Discovery Channel. Call us old-fashioned, but we think children deserve to see this kind of achievement. Of course, it might be a good idea to wait until the walk is over, and let your children watch a repeat. You know, once you think everything is safe. [homepage photo: John Moore/Getty Images]
But while you’re waiting for that, you can look back to just about a year ago. History was made on June 15, 2012 when Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk a tightrope stretched across Niagra Falls. He crossed over 200 feet in the air on a two-inch wide wire in about 30 minutes. Wallenda’s mission was to inspire people to never give up on their dreams and that’s exactly what he did. He proved that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.
Of course, there was a lot of hype leading up to this event. Tens of thousands of people showed up to see the stunt in person, while millions watched it all go down on television. Would Wallenda make it over to the other side or would he fail like those who tried before him? At 10 p.m., Wallenda set out to cross Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three falls making up Niagra Falls.
When Wallenda finally took his last steps in Canada, the crowd erupted with cheers. Even though others have crossed over the Niagra River itself, no one has ever attempted the falls. The 33-year old daredevil took a knee, threw up his fist and ran to the very end. Wallenda hugged his family, who were waiting for him at the finish line and then proceeded to call his 84-year-old grandmother to tell her about his huge accomplishment.
It took Wallenda months to prepare for the big day. Besides practicing for the walk itself, Wallenda had to gain permission from both U.S. and Canadian authorities. In order to get Canada’s approval, they had to grant a one-time exemption on a 128-year ban on stunts. Also, his team needed to make sure that the wire remained steady throughout the mission and that if anything were to happen, his safety equipment would keep him out of harm’s way.
This stunt gave Wallenda a chance to honor his great-grandfather, funambilist Karl Wallenda, who passed away falling from a tightrope in Puerto Rico back in 1978. The acrobat stated that his great-granfather was his “biggest inspiration” and his motivation the whole way throughout. With all the talk about Wallenda’s spectacle, a boost in tourism was expected to occur in the Niagra Falls region.
Throughout the course of history, no one was ever able to cross the Niagra Falls. That was until Wallenda came along to change everything we once knew. He showed us all that with hard work and determination, anything is posible. Despite any roadblocks in the way, Wallenda perserved through to make his dreams a reality.