SARASOTA - Nik Wallenda once again had the world holding its breath as he attempted a death defying tightrope walk nearly 200 feet above U.S. 41 in Sarasota Tuesday.
Just after 11 a.m. Tuesday, Wallenda prayed with his family before taking a basket ride to the top of a crane near Sarasota's Bayfront. From there, he began his walk.
Wallenda flawlessly went through a progression of movements he has done countless times before. The winds were strong and it did present a challenge for Nik. He wanted to stop halfway through and lie down on the wire, but said it was too risky because of the wind. He did, however, kneel down toward the end to stop and blow a kiss to the crowd of adoring fans below.
Nik also said that because U.S. 41 was shut down just minutes before his walk, his cables were not in the exact right place. Between that and the wind, he says it was a challenge. “The cable moved a lot, more than I wanted it too. The wind definitely picked up. I’m sure you guys felt it, but that's the unforeseen, and that is where training and preparation come in.”
An estimated 10,000-12,000 people packed into Sarasota's Bayfront to watch the historic event unfold. It was a festive and energetic environment leading up to the big moment, but then voices quieted and all eyes turned toward the sky. Local businesses were hoping to cash in on the influx of people and some spectators we spoke with said they intended to hang around downtown and spend some money. In all, there didn't seem to be a disappointed person in the crowd. “This was wonderful, I was a little scared for him I thought it would be a bit too windy, but he knows better I assume,” says Mike Moes.
Wallenda says after he wraps up his current run with Circus Sarasota he will be turning his attention to the Grand Canyon. He expects to announce the date of that walk in the near future.
If you missed Nik Wallenda's Skywalk you can watch again below.