Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 16, 2013

A year after walk, Falls officials balance expectations, realities of Wallenda's walk

A year later, city leaders look forward to even more publicity during daredevil's Grand Canyon crossing

Niagara Gazette — Last year, when Nik Wallenda said repeatedly that crossing Niagara Falls on a wire was a dream come true, he wasn’t kidding.

The opening story of the daredevil’s new book, “Balance,” details a dream he had as a child, where he saw a giant waterfalls and met his grandfather, aerialist Karl Wallenda, who told him “Walk over the falls.” Images of the dream came back to him again when he was about 6, he wrote, when his parents took him to see the falls and he felt as if he had already seen them. And so he had, in his dreams.

Last summer, he visited the great falls once again when, after much negotiation and planning, he made that dream come true when he walked a thin wire from the U.S. to Canada, across the raging waters of Niagara Falls.

The walked changed Nik Wallenda’s life. He was recently quoted in the Niagara Falls, Ont., Review as attributing success of the walk to the reason he was able to take on his next great challenge — a walk across the Grand Canyon on June 23.

“That walk has done everything for my career,” he says during a phone interview with The Review while training for his next challenge, which will be televised by the Discovery Channel.

Saturday was the one year anniversary of Wallenda’s historic walk over this city’s giant waterfalls, and an informal Gazette survey showed that while the impact of the media storm of publicity last year is still unclear, the good news is that the city is now able to take advantage of additional publicity expected to follow Wallenda’s canyon walk.

The upcoming high wire walk — which will be on a cable raised seven times the height of the falls walk and five times the distance — will give the city of Niagara Falls an opportunity they were unable to take advantage of the first time around, due to the lack of funds in a skeletal city budget.

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