Nik Wallenda, the famous daredevil funambulist from Sarasota, Florida, was born on January 24, 1979, which makes him 41-years-old. It’s unclear exactly how tall the aerialist is, although he comes from a long line circus performers known as “The Flying Wallendas.” Wallenda, who weighs approximately 185 pounds, holds 11 Guinness World Records for various acrobatic feats.
Wallenda will be performing his most daunting stunt yet as the daredevil high-wire artist plans to walk on a one-inch thick steel cable over an active volcano during tonight’s Volcano Live! With Nik Wallenda special, which airs at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. Keep reading for details on Wallenda’s life, his previous stunts, and tonight’s performance.
Wallenda Has Walked Across Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon & New York Time Square, Among Others
Wallenda made his professional tightrope walking debut at age 13, and has been involved in progressively more dangerous and impressive stunts since. In 2012, Wallenda crossed Niagara Falls while hoisting 78 pounds of equipment, including his balance pole, cameras, and safety harness across 1,450 feet of 2-inch steel cable, according to the Herald Tribune. He has also done a daring tightrope-walk across five blocks in Times Square, as well as several skyscraper walks around the world.
In 2013, the famed funambulist became the first person to high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon, successfully traversing a wire which stretched 1,500 feet above the deep canyon gorge. Wallenda even proposed to his wife, Erendira, on bended knee during a performance in Canada.
During tonight’s volcano walk, Wallenda will be employ a 1 ⅛-inch-thick steel cable to cover the 1,800-foot span across Masaya, an active volcano in Nicaragua, which will be his longest wirewalk, according to USA Today. To Wallenda’s dismay, ABC will require him to wear a safety harness during his performance, although he usually doesn’t use tethers during his stunts, as is typical for the long-standing Wallenda family tradition of forgoing a net or harness.
“That’s for ABC. It is what it is,” Wallenda told USA Today. “It’ll be the same as Times Square.”
His Wife Erendira Will Perform a Surprise Stunt Before His Volcano Walk During Tonight’s Special
Days before the volcano stunt, Wallenda’s wife Erendira announced on Instagram that the event would include “The Biggest Stunt That Nikolas And I Have Ever Done Together,” although what she plans to do still remains a mystery.
“You’ll just have to tune in and watch,” Wallenda told USA Today. “She came up to me within the last month and asked about doing something. So she’s doing her own thing, and I’m doing my own thing.” According to the publication, Erendira is a seventh-generation aerialist who frequently performs with her husband; the two have been married for 21 years and share three children together.
The ABC description for tonight’s special reads, “Watch Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda TONIGHT 8/7c on ABC! Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s hit The Bachelor franchise will trade roses for adrenaline as the official host of Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda, along with television personality and ESPN anchor Sage Steele, who will serve as co-host. The pair will hit the Pacific Ring of Fire live from the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua as Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to embark on a 1,800-foot-long highwire walk over the famed volcano. Nik Wallenda comes from a family of thrill-seekers including great-grandfather Karl Wallenda and mom Delilah Wallenda. Nik is looking to add the volcano walk to his long list tightrope adventures that include walks over Niagara Falls, New York’s Times Square and more. Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda will air as a live two-hour televised event TONIGHT, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST). This will mark Nik’s longest and highest highwire walk ever attempted.”
Tune in Wednesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST to catch Volcano Live! With Nik Wallenda on ABC. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out this author’s profile for all of your reality TV coverage and entertainment news!
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