On June 15, 2012, in elk-suede-soled slippers Nik Wallenda hopped onto a tightrope that stretched over Niagara Falls from the US to Canada. With his father’s encouraging voice in his ear, he balanced himself with a 30-foot pole and praised Jesus Christ with each tiptoed step.
The 33-year-old Wallenda follows in the footsteps of a funambulist family. In the last seven generations, several have perished during their daring acts. In this tradition that continually raises the stakes, he became the first person to walk directly over the falls.
He began like a ballerina with cautiously pointed footwork. It was a spectacular promenade over 1,800 feet of wire. Near the end, he threw caution to the wind and raced to the open arms of his waiting family. The Canadian authorities (gleefully) stamped his American passport. Nik Wallenda declared that he hadn’t brought anything with him, apart from his passport and a balancing pole.