Nik Wallenda, or better known as daredevil du jour finished a high-wire walk over the
Grand Canyon this past Sunday. Well that is not true. He did finish his high-wire walk but it wasn’t the Grand Canyon. It was east of the park, across the gorge of Little Colorado River Navajo Tribal Park. This place also goes by the name: “little Grand Canyon,” and the Little Colorado River feeds into the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Maureen Oltrogge, the park’s public affairs officer, said: “The event would not have been approved in Grand Canyon National Park, events must not unreasonably impair the park’s atmosphere of peace, and tranquility or have an unacceptable impact on the experience of park visitors.” Is it really a scam? Because Wallanda did walk the wire which was a 2-inch ( 5-cm) steel cable for 22 minutes, and 52 seconds before reaching the end, quite the accomplishment, even though he never crossed the Grand Canyon.
This daredevillish foolishness could be seen globally on TV. Nik likes to call himself the “King of the High Wire,” people are not sure yet if that is true but what is a fact: he was “the man” yesterday, because he is the first person to cross the canyon without a tether or safety net.
Wallenda is apparently a very religious person because he couldn’t stop praying the whole time he was walking across the wire, and he actually kissed the ground when he finally reached the end of the line. Wallenda had the following to say about his ordeal: “It took every bit of me to stay focused that entire time, my arms are aching like you wouldn’t believe.”
Nik knew very well how to captivate his audience, and it probably was nerve wracking for him as well, but he had to stop twice. There were some issues with the wind, and later also with the cable. (The rhythm of the cable was causing him trouble.) However Nik knew how to deal with these issues. He just stopped for a moment, and he adjusted his footing, and continued on his way. Nik only saw the positive side and said: “It was a dream come true, this is what my family has done for 200 years, so it’s part of my legacy.” Wallenda hasn’t reacted yet about his Grand Canyon high wire walk not taking place across the Grand Canyon. He might not consider it a scam because it was almost the same as walking there, almost.
However his fans on the internet haven’t changed their tune. According to them: “Nik Wallenda walking across the Grand Canyon is just another example of how dropping the “c” from Nik turns normal men into daredevil badasses.”
Nik Wallenda is a seventh-generation member of the “Flying Wallendas.” A family of acrobats. Nik knew after a visit with his parents to the Gran Canyon, when he was a teenager, that one day he would be walking the cable just like his family had done before him. However not all of his family members survived their stunts. Great-grandfather, Karl, didn’t survive his high wire act in Puerto Rico in 1978. He slipped and then fell to his early death. Nik hasn’t forgotten about his great-grandpa, he said: “I knelt down and I thought of my great-grandfather and that everything I do is to honor him, it took my mind off all this movement underneath me … and I was able to focus on him and regain composure.”
It’s unknown how much money Nik earned from this stunt. Nik was mentioned as the executive producer for the Discovery Channel live broadcast, but there has not been any confirmation regarding financial compensation. He could also use the free publicity, and maybe get a sponsor contract. It might also have been the thrill, and continuing the legacy of his family. All in all, an adrenalin fueled experience for all of us. Not something we should try at home. What do you think, was it a scam? Should Wallenda have informed us that he would cross “Little Canyon,” not the big one? Does it bother you that he actually never crossed it? Or is it enough that he risked his life walking the cable and it doesn’t matter where it took place?
By Georgina Pijttersen