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Nik Wallenda
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    (January 24, 1979- )
    Born in Sarasota, Florida
    High-wire artist
    Great-grandson of Karl Wallenda
    Performed the Wheel of Steel with Bello Nock for Ringling Brothers (2007-08)
    Set a Guinness record for highest and longest high-wire bicycle ride live on Today (October 15, 2008)
    Became the first person to cross directly over Niagara Falls on a high wire (June 15, 2012)
    He began performing in the family act as a clown at age two.
    His three children often perform with him.
    When he got permission to cross Niagara Falls, he attributed it to divine intervention. (Rather than municipal governments really needing an injection of tourism dollars.)
    He dislikes people calling his Niagara crossing a stunt: 'I see a stunt as somebody who gets in a barrel and goes over the edge and hopes they don’t hit a rock.'
    He told his father he felt like 'a jackass' wearing a safety harness, which ABC had insisted on when it bought the broadcast rights to the Niagara crossing.
    He bills himself as 'the King of the Wire.' (Sure, it's accurate, but it's still egotistical.)
    When he practiced wire walking as a child, his parents would throw objects at him and even shoot with a BB gun to train him to deal with distractions.
    He proposed to his wife Erendira, a fellow acrobat, by getting down on one knee on the high wire during a performance in Montreal.
    His father, Terry, serves as his safety coordinator.
    His mother, Delilah, custom made the shoes for his Niagara crossing: part moccasin, part ballet shoe, and designed to maintain a good grip when wet.
    He said the biggest challenge of his career was dealing with the red tape from the government and Niagara Parks Commission.

Credit: C. Fishel

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