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New York - Wallenda Stunt Siblings To Walk 25 Stories High Across Times Square

Published on: June 20, 2019 08:08 PM
By: Reuters
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Aerialist Nik Wallenda holds a sample of a wire while he speaks with media as he prepares for a highwire walk over Times Square in New York, U.S., June 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Eduardo MunozAerialist Nik Wallenda holds a sample of a wire while he speaks with media as he prepares for a highwire walk over Times Square in New York, U.S., June 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

New York - The rope is no wider than his thumb, the height is 25 stories up and the length is five city blocks, but what really concerns aerialist Nik Wallenda about his highwire walk in New York on Sunday is his sister.

Wallenda and his sister Lijana plan to walk 1,300 feet (396 meters) across the city’s busy Times Square on Sunday in a live television event that has been six years in the making.

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The walk will mark Lijana’s first highwire stunt since an accident while rehearsing an eight-person pyramid in 2017 that broke every bone in her face.

Sunday’s walk, to be broadcast live television as the sun goes down, will be “over two and a half times higher than anything she’s ever walked. It’ll be four times longer than anything, other than in training, that she’s ever walked in a public setting,” Nik Wallenda told Reuters on Thursday.

“I’ll be so focused on her and not on myself. And I really need to be 150% focused on myself, and I know already I won’t be,” he added.

Wallenda is no stranger to stunts. In 2012, he became the first person to walk a tightrope across the Niagara Falls, and in 2014, he walked blindfold between two skyscrapers in Chicago.

Aerialist Nik Wallenda takes a look on a terrace, while speaking with media, as he prepares for a highwire walk over Times Square in New York, U.S., June 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Eduardo MunozAerialist Nik Wallenda takes a look on a terrace, while speaking with media, as he prepares for a highwire walk over Times Square in New York, U.S., June 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

On Sunday, he and Lijana will start from opposite ends of the wire, meet and cross in the middle of Times Square, and continue to the opposite side. The wire will be positioned at 235-feet (72-meters) high on one building and 259-feet (79-meters) high on the other, and dips 50 feet (15 meters), organizers said.

Wallenda said the wire rope is just three quarters of an inch (1.9 cm) wide, or a little smaller than a 25 cent coin.

“It’s actually smaller than my thumb,” he said. “It’s over 25 stories up and we’re walking five city blocks and it’s pretty amazing.”

Wallenda hopes that Sunday’s walk inspire others.

“For her (Lijana) to be able to overcome a near-death experience and get back on the wire - I believe it will change and free a lot of people from fear that they’ve been struggling with.”

The walk will be televised live on ABC on Sunday, starting at 8 p.m. ET. (0000 GMT Monday)



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 20, 2019 at 10:44 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

It is an easy skill to learn when you are young. I wish I had applied myself.

2

 Jun 21, 2019 at 08:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Why does NYC permit this nonsense? I remember seeing a tape in 1974, of Wallenda's Grandfather falling to his death from a tightrope in Puerto Rico, because of high winds.

3

 Jun 21, 2019 at 08:45 AM shimonyehuda Says:

its not just the skill. its overcoming a natural fear of heights.

4

 Jun 21, 2019 at 10:29 AM shimonyehuda Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Why does NYC permit this nonsense? I remember seeing a tape in 1974, of Wallenda's Grandfather falling to his death from a tightrope in Puerto Rico, because of high winds.

Why? Money.

5

 Jun 21, 2019 at 10:44 AM ah yid Says:

I don't know why the city allows this. If g-d forbid something goes wrong you will hear plenty of people criticizing this stupidity.

6

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