Jesus, Osteen and Discovery: Nik Wallenda's death defying stunt rivets nation (VIDEOS)

What can you say when a daredevil takes on a challenge that makes you throw up a bit when you think of the insanity of it?

Nik Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist, and part of the flying Wallendas, despite a horrific death in 1978 of Karl Wallenda, Nik's great-grandad.

Both Nik and the Discovery Channel created a Sunday night live event that featured impossible camera angles showing the danger of walking a tightrope over an unpredictable windy gorge.

Nik began wire walking at the age of 2. He has since accomplished several Guinness World Records, one for longest and highest bicycle ride on a high-wire 250-foot-long ride at 135 feet above the ground in New Jersey. He nearly doubled the height record in 2010 to 260 feet. On the same day in 2010, he walked over 2,000 feet in a single performance. In 2011, Wallenda set a world record by performing on the Wheel of Death atop the 23 story Tropicana Casino and Resort.

Later that year, Wallenda and his mother tightrope walked between the two towers of Condado Plaza Hotel in Puerto Rico, where his great-grandfather Karl had perished.  On June 10, 2011, Wallenda hung from a helicopter 250 feet off the ground using only his teeth to hold on.

Discovery rounded up Houston preacher Joel Osteen to lead the Wallenda family in a massive prayer session last night as Nik took on the Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon. In 22 minutes, 54 seconds, Wallenda crossed a quarter-mile tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon. Without wearing Depends or saying one cuss word.

Wallenda had to stop and kneel twice to get “the rhythm out of the rope” and constantly called out Jesus' name in prayers to Jesus almost constantly along the way. He was slow and steady until the last few steps where he seemingly bolted off the wire.

Last year Nik traversed Niagara Falls earning a seventh Guinness world record. He used the same 2-inch-thick cable he used to cross the falls, The ante was raied this time as no safety harness was used.

The Discovery Channel broadcast Wallenda’s walk on live television after 8 p.m. EDT on Sunday with a 10-second delay. Wallenda had two cameras, one looking down on the dry Little Colorado River bed and one facing straight ahead.

His special leather shoes helped him keep a grip on the steel cable as he moved across.

There were strong winds blowing across the gorge, with him saying to reporters when he made it across, “It was way more windy and it took every bit of me to stay focused the entire time,” he said.

Navajos, Hopis and other Native Americans consider the area where Nik walked to be sacred land.

Discovery’s 2-hour broadcast showcased the Navajo landscape that includes Monument Valley, Four Corners, Canyon de Chelly and the tribal capital of Window Rock.


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