Nik Wallenda, aka the "King of the High Wire," is once again proving that there's nothing to fear except fear itself — and falling 1,500 feet into the Grand Canyon without a net or harness. But Wallenda doesn't even fear that. The six-time Guinness World Record holder will attempt to be the first person to walk the high wire across a 1,250-foot-wide segment of Arizona's immense natural wonder, and the death-defying event will air live Sunday on the Discovery Channel.
How exactly does this daredevil defy death? He stopped by Yahoo!'s "The Yo Show" to chat with host Michael Yo about whether he's the bravest person on Earth or just the craziest. From the sound of it, he's actually quite sane. In fact, he was born and bred to be an acrobat: Wallenda comes from seven generations of tightrope walkers. "This was my passion growing up. Actually, I started walking the wire at age 2," Wallenda said, adding some inspirational words from his great-grandfather: "Life is on the wire, and everything else is just waiting."
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His background is amazing, and Yo asked Wallenda the question that most everyone's thinking: Why? The stuntman has a wife and three kids at home, after all. "I've been trained my whole life to grab the wire no matter what. Gravity pulls you down, fortunately," Wallenda said. "We do have rescue crews standing by. They'd be to me within 45 seconds. They're trained. They're rehearsed. They know how to get to me quickly, efficiently. I've trained to hold on to a wire 15, 20 minutes if I have to. So to hold on for 30, 60 seconds is not really a big deal." Well, that's a relief!
"Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda" airs live on Sunday, 6/23 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on the Discovery Channel.
- Nik Wallenda