Daredevil Nik Wallenda, a seventh-generation circus performer (of the famous Flying Wallendas family), became the first person to cross over Niagara Falls on a tightrope as he completed the feat 200 feet above the Niagara River on the evening of June 15.
According to USA Today, Wallenda took less than a half hour to walk the 1,800 feet (equivalent to six football fields) from the U.S. side of the Falls to Canada. Although he was wearing a tether (required by ABC, which aired the walk life), he never had to use it (and even told his father he felt like a “jacka–” wearing it).
is something no one in the world has ever done,” he says of his accomplishment. “Even though I
had a tether, I didn’t have to use it.”
However, the weather was not cooperative: “That mist was thick. It was hard to
see at times. The wind was wild. It’d come at me one way and hit me
from the front, and hit me from the back,” he says.
Wallenda was wearing a microphone the whole time so his mid-air musings were heard on TV and by the tens of thousands of people watching. “I’m drained,” he said while still on the wire. “My hands are going numb. I feel like I’m getting weak.”
The Flying Wallendas are known for not using nets or safety equipment, and many even predicted Wallenda would remove the harness while he was crossing. He practiced in a local parking lot for the ordeal, and was sprayed with a fire hose and blasted by a wind machine to simulate the Falls’ weather, USA Today reports.