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Wallenda hopes to try NYC high-wire walk despite NYPD resistance

June 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM ET

After becoming the first person to cross the Grand Canyon on a wire, Nik Wallenda has his sights set on walking between two iconic skyscrapers in New York City, but has encountered early resistance from NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Tiffany Brown / AP for Discovery
After becoming the first person to cross the Grand Canyon on a wire, Nik Wallenda has his sights set on walking between two iconic skyscrapers in New York City, but has encountered early resistance from NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly.

After conquering the Grand Canyon, daredevil Nik Wallenda has already encountered some early resistance to his next dream of walking on a wire between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in Manhattan.

On Monday, New York Police Department commissioner Raymond Kelly shot some holes in that idea, telling reporters, “I don’t think it’d be wise in this city. We have thousands of New Yorkers who certainly can be put at risk.”

Nik Wallenda's jeans grab spotlight in high-wire walk

Wallenda has dealt with obstacles like this before and prevailed. He lobbied the governments of the United States and Canada for two years before he was able get laws changed to allow for his high-wire walk across Niagara Falls in February of 2012. Despite Kelly’s comments, Wallenda hopes to work with the city government to make his new dream a reality.

“I would never do anything to put people in danger and wouldn’t do a walk without proper permission and permits, but it’s a dream of mine I hope to make happen,’’ he said in a statement to TODAY.com on Tuesday.

Video: TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb discuss Nik Wallenda’s tight-rope walk across the Grand Canyon and Kathie Lee begs the performer not to attempt a proposed high-wire walk above nine blocks of New York City.

Wallenda’s walk across a section of the Grand Canyon located in the Navajo Nation drew 13 million viewers to the live coverage on Discovery Channel Sunday night. Following his latest feat, the seventh-generation member of the famous “Flying Wallendas” family told reporters that conquering New York was his next goal. While his Grand Canyon walk was 1,400 feet across and took 22 minutes, there is approximately 4,000 aerial feet separating the two iconic skyscrapers in New York.

Nik Wallenda was 'working for every single foot' in Grand Canyon walk

Wallenda wants to meet with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to present his concept for the walk, he told Sports Illustrated’s Maggie Gray in a live interview on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s really about doing something positive, inspiring people, and bringing positive attention to that particular area,’’ he told Gray.

He did it! Daredevil Nik Wallenda wire walks across the Grand Canyon

Wallenda added that he has been in talks with an undisclosed team to potentially walk across a baseball stadium on a wire and considers walking across a Major League Baseball or NFL stadium another dream.

Video: Daredevil tightrope walker Nik Wallenda talks about his death-defying walk across the Grand Canyon Sunday night, saying it “differed quite a bit” from his training. He added that he was so wound up after the stunt, he “didn’t sleep at all.”


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