Tightrope walker given OK to cross Niagra Falls
Canada’s Niagara Parks Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to allow daredevil Nik Wallenda to attempt a tightrope walk over Niagara Falls.
Wallenda has wanted to attempt a tightrope walk over Niagara Falls since he was six years old.
“This was a dream many told me was impossible: two countries to change laws. I’m blessed, that’s all I can say,” Wallenda told Reuters.
After securing permission from the American side in September, Wallenda had only one year to convince the Canadians and complete his stunt. With both sides giving the go-ahead, Wallenda is in full planning mode. The Canadian board had previously voted to deny Wallenda’s request.
“This decision was approved in part in recognition of the role that stunting has played in the history and promotion of Niagara Falls,” Janice Thomson, the chairwoman of the commission, said in a statement.
“We have made it clear that this is a very unique one-time situation. It’s not an everyday activity and will not be allowed to become an everyday activity.”
Wallenda says this will be the first attempt in more than a century to span Niagara Falls by tightrope. The committee also voted to allow the stunt only once every twenty years.
Thompson also told the Buffalo News that the biggest factor in the decision reversal was seeing Wallenda’s extensive safety and economic proposals, forecasting over $20 million in tourism spending in Ontario. The chairwoman also had a private lunch with the stuntman who has also been working with members of the Canadian parliament to secure permission at all levels.
Training on a full-scale high-wire rig set up across an airport runway in Pittsburgh, Wallenda has also been using simulated mist to help prepare for the stunt across the 1,800 gorge.
“I’ve done walks farther and higher,” he added. “This will be the most iconic.”