Tag: daredevils

    Award-Winning Journalist Pens Book On Niagara Falls Daredevils

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    From Niagara at Large:

    Few jounalists I know have captured the power, the drama the beauty and theatrics in and around one of the world’s most scenic wonders – the Great Falls of Niagara – with as much passion and insight as Michael Clarkson.

    So it makes all the sense in the world that Michael Clarkson has written a book on the many daredevils that have tempted fate in the roaring waters of the Falls.

    Wallenda’s plan for the falls

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    This article is a year old now, and I posted lots like it last year before Nik Wallenda walked over Niagara Falls. However since it has been a year now, it is interesting to look back and read again about his preparations for his walk.

    From Niagara This Week:

    …And if the much-publicized stunt is a success, he’ll also be the first person to cross right over the falls.

    A number of daredevils have walked across the gorge further downstream, but no one has gone directly above the falls themselves. It has been more than 100 years since anyone has even attempted a crossing.

    Wallenda, from Sarasota, Fla., waged a two-year, cross-border bureaucratic battle to win the right to try…

    Saving Niagara Falls, One (Tightrope) Step At A Time

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    From WNYC Public Radio (you can listen to the 5-minute audio segment):

    Niagara Falls has long been a magnet for daredevils, but strict laws have kept them away for more than a century. That’s expected to change Friday, when circus performer Nik Wallenda will walk a two-inch-thick wire above the giant waterfall. It’s an exception officials hope will rescue tourism — and the city’s economy.

    At the Haunted House of Wax in Niagara Falls, tourists are greeted by two signs: one that beckons visitors to meet ghoulish wax figurines and another advertising that the building is for sale. It’s a common sight in a downtown that’s also dotted with empty lots and tacky gift shops.

    Paul Gromosiak has lived here for 70 years, and he still remembers the glory days. He keeps a homemade model of Niagara Falls on his kitchen table with little flags on toothpicks to mark stunts from the past 200 years. He’s already added one for Nik Wallenda.

    Tightrope walker Nik Wallenda’s plan to conquer Niagara Falls

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    From the Toronto Star:

    Wallenda can’t afford to make a similar stumble this Friday during his highest-profile act yet: walking 550 metres across Niagara Falls, on a wire 60 metres above the gorge.

    “This is unique because it’s the longest unsupported or unstabilized cable that anyone’s put up in the history of wire-walking,” Wallenda says.

    And if the much-publicized stunt is a success, he’ll also be the first person to cross right over the falls.

    A number of daredevils have walked across the gorge further downstream, but no one has gone directly above the falls themselves. It has been more than 100 years since anyone has even attempted a crossing.

    The World’s Only Collection of Original Daredevil Barrels Open to the Public

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    Everyone is trying to get a piece of the Nik Wallenda action…

    From a CNW press release seen on Yahoo! Canada Finance:

    As the excitement for the June 15 Wallenda Stunt Walk over the falls builds, so too does the interest in the daredevils who challenged the Falls before him. Those who want to climb inside history can do so with a visit to the Niagara Daredevil Exhibit inside the Niagara IMAX Theatre. Home to the world’s only collection of the original daredevil barrels, the exhibit chronicles the people who have challenged the falls and the fates that awaited them.

    How did these people survive a plunge over Niagara Falls?

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    From the Toronto Star:

    Death, taxes, Niagara Falls.

    In the old days, those were the only certain things in life — or death — according to the river men who patrolled a thunderous Horseshoe Falls before it became somewhat tamed by hydro companies.

    During the 19th and 20th centuries, thousands of suicide and accident victims plunged over the 52-metre world-famous cataract and none were known to have survived. Even three of the first six daredevils in protective barrels perished.

    Now meet a kinder, gentler Niagara Falls. In the past nine years, three men have miraculously survived the terrible fall — the only three in modern history known to live without a safety device.

    Natural wonder or carnival sideshow?

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    From the Buffalo News:

    Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk over Niagara Falls this summer has been pitched as a once-in-a-generation event, a tribute to stunting history that legally can take place only every two decades.

    Now three more daredevils want to join the party — promising they will seek to conquer the falls in a barrel. All have achieved the feat in the past.

    This attention to stunting revives a centuries-old debate: Should the waterfalls exist as a natural wonder or as the centerpiece of a man-made circus?

    “A little carnival is good,” said Mark DiFrancesco, owner of the Niagara Daredevil Museum on the American side of the falls. “A little bright lights and attention for the area is good. It’ll bring people into the area, and hopefully they’ll come back.”

    But others think that government officials, by approving Wallenda’s stunt, have opened the door to these other attempts by renewing interest in stunting.

    Crossing Niagara, the return journey

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    From The Independent (in the UK):

    It takes a cool head, impeccable balance, and plenty of self-confidence to walk unaided across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Unfortunately, for daredevil Nik Wallenda, it also requires formal permission from local bureaucrats.

    The 32-year-old circus performer is bidding to become the first person in more than a century to perform the high-wire stunt, reviving a tradition of derring-do which stretches back to the destination’s golden era. But first, he needs a rubber stamp from Canada’s Niagara Parks Commission.

    The article also has a nice history of the various daredevils over the years.

    Galaxy Girl to Perform at the Falls Avenue Resort in Niagara Falls this Summer

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    From the Sheraton on the Falls blog:

    The 20 acre Falls Avenue Resort is taking entertainment in Niagara Falls to new heights in June and July. Tina Winn, aka Galaxy Girl tm will perform death-defying stunts more than 127 feet in the air without the aid of nets or safety devices. Her unparalleled aerial performance and stunts are sure to dazzle guests young and old.

    One of a few female daredevils in the World, Galaxy Girl begins her show by climbing up a 12 storey high pole to a trapeze 90 feet above the crowd to perform her signature version of the “daring young lady on the flying trapeze”, then continues up to 127 feet where she performs a variety of acrobatic manoeuvres including handstands and free stands while talking to the crowd below.

    Casino to host rappelling for 150 daredevils

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    From the Buffalo News:

    If you’ve always wanted to step off the roof of a 26-story building and live to tell about it, here’s your chance.

    Seneca Niagara Hotel will host a fundraising rappelling event for Special Olympics of New York on July 29. As many as 150 people will be allowed to use ropes to make their way down the side of the building behind the Seneca Niagara Casino.

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