Quirky News

  • 17 February 2012, 11:21

Man to walk a wire over Niagara Falls

Nik Wallenda /PA

A US acrobat is to become the first person in more than a century to walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls.

Nik Wallenda has been granted rare permission to carry out the stunt on the US-Canadian border this summer, reports the BBC.

It has long been illegal to carry out such stunts at the Falls because so many people have died trying.

Canadian officials originally blocked his proposal but relented, saying it would pay tribute to the history of daredevil acts at the site.

Mr Wallenda, 33, was born into a family of circus performers and has been tightrope-walking since he was two-years-old.

"My dream is to walk into the mist, disappear, and walk out the other end," he said.

"Contrary to popular belief, it's very peaceful when I'm on the wire. It's just me and the wire. It's relaxing."

Mr Wallenda will not be wearing a harness and his rope will be strung nearly 70m directly above the falls.

He hopes to follow in the footsteps of Jean Francois Gravelet - known as Charles Blondin - who was the first person to to make the tightrope walk on 30 June 1859.

Blondin went on to tackle the Falls on several occasions, once on a bicycle, another time blindfolded, while one attempt involved him cooking an omelette in the middle of his walk.