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Nik Wallenda performs high wire act in Sarasota

2:53 PM, Feb 4, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Interview: Nik Wallenda

  • Nik Wallenda walks on a high wire from two of Sarasota's tallest buildings.
  • Nik Wallenda lies down on a high wire connected to two of Sarasota's tallest buildings.

Sarasota, Florida -- The Wallenda family of high walkers has been thrilling audiences for generations and on Thursday, one of them performed for the first time in his home town of Sarasota.

Shortly after 9 a.m. Nik Wallenda walked on a high wire from two of Sarasota's tallest buildings.

Photo Gallery: Nik Wallenda's high wire act!

"I'll be walking from One Watergate building to the Ritz Carlton," he told 10 Connects a day earlier.

Wallenda walked 600 feet -- from well over 200 feet in the air -- and all that stood between him and the ground was a galvanized cable, the width of a nickel.

And Wallenda had to make sure he was on the money, because he did not use any safety devices to protect him in the event of a mis-step.

It took about 10 minutes for Wallenda to complete his walk.  With a flair for the theatric, Wallenda stopped about halfway across and then proceeded to lie down on the wire!

But not once during the walk did Wallenda stumble, and he received loud cheers from the crowd below as he finished his walk.

Wallenda is from a family of high wire walkers and he currently holds the Guinness world record for the highest and longest distance traveled by bicycle on a high wire.

"People do say it's in my DNA. I started walking the wire at 2 years old and started getting pretty good at 4 and my first performance up high on a wire was when I was 13. Since then, I've broken a couple of world records and don't plan on stopping soon" Wallenda said.

He also has the permits to become the first person to walk across the Grand Canyon.

Melvin Beal, 10 Connects

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