Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 22, 2013

Wallenda returns: Daredevil talks of new book and Falls site update


Niagara Gazette —

When asked whether he considered his upcoming Grand Canyon walk more dangerous than crossing the gorge, Wallenda said "I have to take them all seriously," adding that Friday was the 35th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, who died in Puerto Rico during a ten-story high promotional walk at age 70.  

His grandfather fell to his death because he did not wear a tether, but the daredevil has always insisted that wearing the tether during his Niagara Falls walk was the only downside of the experience. The walk across the Grand Canyon in June will be made without a tether, which Wallenda held is a point of pride for himself and his family members. 

One of the first questions he was asked during a media question-and-answer session was about the semi-permanent structure he has talked of erecting on the American side of Niagara Falls this summer. 

"I'm a man of my word," he said. "I've proven that," he added, noting that a 1,600 seat tent will be up if not this summer then next summer. He said he hoped the attraction could eventually be upgraded with zip lines and other interactive family attractions, noting that when he and his family stayed in Niagara Falls last summer, there was not much for his children to do. 

"It's something we're actively working on," he said. "We need to have more definitive answers very soon," he said about the project, which he added would require no public money. It is his hope, he said, that a deal could be made as soon as possible. "We need to be able to promote it and get the word out," he said.

He assured those assembled that the attraction would be built on the American side of the falls. "This is the side that clearly needs it," he said, adding that he hoped his persistance in following his dreams and being true to his word would continue to be an inspiration for those facing challenges. 

"Every single one of us has challenges," he said. "Focus on your goals."

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