Wallenda eyes Grand Canyon for next high wire walk

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Nik Wallenda during his walk across Niagara Falls. He's hoping to traverse the Grand Canyon, but his next gig will be at Tropicana Atlantic City. Photo: Tropicana Atlantic City.

So what does one do for an encore after one has become the first person ever to successfully walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls?

Nik Wallenda, who accomplished that daring feat last month, now has his sights set on the Grand Canyon. In addition to hopefully traversing the Colorado natural wonder, Wallenda, 33, said he would also like to become the first person to boogie along a high wire between two continents (Europe and Asia) with a starting point in Turkey.

Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of the world’s most famous high-wire-act family, made his plans known Monday afternoon at Tropicana Atlantic City, where he announced he will headline “Beyond the Falls…Nik Wallenda & The Wallenda Family Experience,” which runs at the gaming hall Aug. 12 through Sept. 22. He’ll be joined by family members including his wife, Erendira, and his mother Delilah, as well as an international cast of acrobats, aerialists and daredevils.

As for the controversial harness Wallenda wore during his stroll between the U.S. and Canada, he insisted that he was forced to employ it by ABC-TV, which produced the televised extravaganza.

“I never wore a harness until the day before (the stunt), but ABC demanded it,” he said. He added the network threatened to withdraw its financial support of the event if he refused.

Rather than being afraid of falling, he said his main safety concern was that the harness “would get caught in the pendulums (that helped stabilize him) and I’d have to take it off” while perched above the falls.

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