Nik Wallenda is a seventh-generation circus performer, scion of the famed Flying Wallendas. He set the world record for farthest distance traveled by bicycle on a high wire. And now he has set his sights on a new deed of daredevilry — walking the 1,800 feet across the gorge of Niagara Falls while balancing on a two-inch-diameter steel cable.
"This is a dream of mine that I’ve always wanted to do," Mr. Wallenda, a 32-year-old father of three, said sitting on the pool deck of a hotel here and surveying the waterworks in the distance. "I get chills thinking about it."
Niagara Falls has a long history of attracting stuntmen, and stuntwomen, eager to taste the thrill, and the fame, of plunging over the cascade packed into wine barrels, rubber inner tubes or hot water tanks. Annie Taylor, a 63-year-old schoolteacher, pioneered the barrel plunge in 1901 and lived to tell about it. Other daredevils followed; not everyone fared as well.
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