Heights, who needs them? Fortunately, for the daredevil superstar Wallenda family, they need heights, and aren’t frightened away from them. The recent feat of Nik Wallenda crossing over his sister, Lijana Wallenda, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway generated much attention and awe.
Yet, how does an individual became renown for such activities as crossing the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Grand Canyon, and Niagara Falls on a tight rope? All great legacies start somewhere, and this one began with Nik and Lijana’s great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, who formed the circus act called The Flying Wallendas in 1922.
Karl Wallenda was born in Magdeburg, Germany, and lived his life undertaking many wondrous stunts throughout the world including: Europe, Puerto Rico, and the United States.
The group became known as The Great Wallendas and were eventually noted for creating the technique of using a three-tier 7-Man Pyramid during their stunts. Karl Wallenda’s impressive career spanned until he was seventy-three when he tragically died while in the midst of a stunt involving crossing between two towers rising ten stories from the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Thirty-four-year-old Nik Wallenda spoke about his world famous endeavor to cross the Grand Canyon, which drew nearly 13 million television viewers as well as a nod from the Emmys.
“It’s nice to be able to say ‘the Emmy Award-winning Nik Wallenda’ now. It’s a big deal and it’s huge for a sales pitch,” Nik said.
Some family members began working in the trade as young as three-years-old. The impressive talents of the members may partially be in their genetic coding; however, hard-work and concentration play a role as well. Fans of the uniquely-skilled Nik Wallenda shared their respect and homage through Twitter.
"I've trained all my life not to be distracted by distractions" Nik Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas – entrepreneurs take note
— John Greathouse (@johngreathouse) October 14, 2013
Nik Wallenda’s personal mission as depicted on his website embodies the sentiments behind the public’s continued fascination and respect for the Wallenda family, “To inspire people around the world to follow their dreams and never give up.”