The seventh-generation member of the famed Flying Wallendas had long dreamed of pulling off the stunt, never before attempted. Other daredevils have wire-walked over the Niagara River but farther downstream and not since 1896.
"This is what dreams are made of, people," Wallenda said shortly after he began walking the wire.
He took steady, measured steps amid the rushing mist over the falls as an estimated crowd of 125,000 people on the Canadian side and 4,000 on the American side watched. Along the way, he calmly prayed aloud.
For the 33-year-old father of three, the Niagara Falls walk was unlike anything he'd ever done. Because it was over water, the 2-inch wire didn't have the usual stabilizer cables to keep it from swinging. Pendulum anchors were designed to keep it from twisting under the elkskin-soled shoes designed by his mother.
After he made it to the Canadian side of the falls, Wallenda said that at one point in the middle of the stunt, he thought about his great-grandfather and the walks he had taken: "That's what this is all about, paying tribute to my ancestors, and my hero, Karl Wallenda."
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