Atlantic City High Wire Attempt A Success [VIDEO]
Atlantic City visitors witnessed an event Thursday they will most likely never see again.
Nik Wallenda, "King of the High Wire" and holder of seven Guinness World Records, walked more than 1,300 feet on a high wire from the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel to the Tropicana Casino & Resort. The narrow cable was hoisted by two cranes, at least 100 feet above the beach. Wallenda, 33, completed the stunt without a safety net or harness; all he could rely on was his balancing pole and years of experience.
Approximately 150,000 spectators watched from the boardwalk, beach and casino decks. Wallenda started his trek a little after 3 p.m.
"It's what I live to do," said Wallenda following the stunt.
The Jersey shore threw some curveballs, though. After a few steps into his journey, Wallenda had to turn back around. He noticed the cable had been packed with sand from the day before when it was laid on the ground for set-up.
Wallenda explained, "It felt really slippery. I took a shoe off and backed up to see if I wanted to actually go barefoot."
He had performed barefoot before, but he decided against it this time. He put his trust in his shoes - shoes his mother makes for him.
"When there's water in the air or the cable gets wet, (the shoes) actually grip the cable," he said.
Wallenda described the weather as extremely calm, but he said wind gusts caused minor trouble towards the end of his walk.
"There were some gusts that I would say were at least 20-25 miles per hour," he said.
Despite the slight setbacks, Wallenda reached the second crane within a half hour.
"I'll always remember this walk because of the crowd that turned up, the beautiful boardwalk and that sand on the cable in the beginning," said Wallenda.
The free event served as a kick-off for an acrobatic show that begins Sunday at the Trop. "Beyond the Falls: Nik Wallenda and the Wallenda Family Experience" runs through September 22. Wallenda is the seventh generation of The Flying Wallendas, a family of acrobatic aerialists. He has been walking the wire since age two.
In June, the country watched in awe as Wallenda walked the wire directly over the precipice at Niagara Falls. Since the act was being televised nationally, he was equipped with a harness for the first time in his career. Wallenda said if he had his choice, he would have crossed Niagara without it.