On Friday, Nik Wallenda became the first person to successfully walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls. (Source: WGRZ/CNN)
(RNN) - Calmly, deliberately he walked, step by step, 1,800 feet. And when it was over, he walked right into the history books.
On Friday, Nik Wallenda became the first person to successfully walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls.
As if the task at hand weren't enough to keep him occupied, Wallenda even took time to answer questions during his walk.
"It's an unbelievable view. I'm so blessed to be in the position I am to be the first person in the world to be right here, the only person in the world who will ever be here," he said about 10 minutes into the walk as he began to cross the Falls. "This is truly breathtaking."
With crowds gathered and the falls raging, Wallenda flawlessly navigated winds and a wet, slippery tightrope to cross from the New York side across the border to Canada.
"That mist was thick and it was hard to see at times," he said from the tightrope, mid-walk. "I'd heard all the stories, but to actually feel it. It would come from one way and hit me from the front and [then] hit me from the back. It wasn't something I wasn't prepared for, but more than I expected for sure."
Wallenda had to lobby both the U.S. and Canadian governments for more than two years to make the stunt happen. Tightrope walking the Falls has not been allowed for more than 100 years.
"We had the door closed on us many, many times. Many government agencies said 'Never, not in a million years," Wallenda said. "But you know what? We fought the good fight and we never gave up. And look at what we've achieved - a dream, something that people said was unimaginable, impossible."
Wallenda comes from a long line of tightrope walking dare devils.
His great grandfather Karl Wallenda plunged to his death from a failed tightrope walk in Puerto Rico in 1978.
"In the middle of the walk, I started thinking of my great grandfather and paying tribute to him and all the walks he did, that he was successful on. That's what this is all about, paying tribute to my ancestors and my hero, Karl Wallenda, "he said.
Unlike many of his ancestors, he was forced to wear a safety harness.
"I feel like a jackass wearing it," he said.
After 25 minutes of steel trap focus, a soggy Wallenda sprinted his last few steps into the arms of his waiting family.
"I told you I'd be fine, didn't I?" he told his wife and kids upon reaching the Canadian side.
It won't be the last time his family watches with a mixture of pride and anxiety. Wallenda already has his next adventure planned and approved.
"I just happen to have the permit to the be the first person in the world to walk a tightrope over the Grand Canyon,"he said. "It's nearly a mile across and 1,400 feet above the ground."
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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