Approved — The final hurdle in Nik Wallenda’s quest to walk across Niagara Falls on a high-wire has been cleared. New York Senator Maziarz has welcomed Nik to Niagara Falls to begin the next phase of the planning process. A deal has been approved with the Niagara Commission in Canada as well. The show must go on.
Senator Maziarz went on to say (at a news conference): It was about three years ago when Nik Wallenda walked into my office, not very far from here actually, and told me about his dream of walking a tightrope across the Niagara Gorge. And I said — Nik you have to understand — this has not been done since the 1850′s. It’s outlawed on both sides of the border. It’s a long, trying process to get it changed. I never thought, to be honest with you, that we would get it done in this three year period.
Nik Wallenda’s high-wire walk will put Niagara Falls in the international spotlight in a positive way. Without a doubt, this will become one of the most highly anticipated events in the world, in 2012.
Wallenda told BBC News in an interview: “My dream is to walk into the mist, disappear, and walk out the other end,” he said.
On June 30, 1859, Charles Blondin, a name synonymous with tightrope, made history. Blondin crossed the gorge below Niagara Falls on a tightrope, 1100 feet (335 m) long, 3¼ inches in diameter, 160 feet (50 m) above the water.
And get this — he did it blindfolded, in a sack, trundling a wheelbarrow, on stilts, carrying a man (his manager, Harry Colcord) on his back, sitting down midway while he cooked and ate an omelet and standing on a chair with only one chair leg on the rope.
That’s going to be a hard act to follow.