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Daredevil completes high-wire stunt

A seventh-generation high-wire daredevil pedalled a bicycle across a precarious line strung between two hotel towers in an attempt to break his own world record.

Nik Wallenda, of the famous Flying Wallendas circus family, cycled safely more than 100 feet along the wire at the Bahamas' Paradise Island Atlantis resort some 260 feet above the turquoise ocean - without a safety net.

Wallenda holds the current Guinness World Records for longest distance and greatest height travelled by bicycle on a high wire, set in 2008 in Newark, New Jersey, when he travelled 235 feet at a height of 135 feet.

Hundreds of tourists and resort workers watched from pools and pavements, snapping pictures and shooting video.

Guinness will have to verify the new height record, the one he was trying to break.

Wallenda later performed a second high-wire stunt on foot, walking about 2,000 feet at a height of 250 feet over the resort's open-air marine habitat, which teems with sharks, barracudas and piranhas. It was the longest distance he has travelled by foot on a wire, according to spokesman Winston Simone.

Wallenda never stumbled during either performance, despite winds measured at 28 knots and scattered thunderstorms.

"Against all odds I walked on that wire today," he said. "There was lightning in the area, high winds, and it was the first walk without my father. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made in my life. and the hardest walk I have ever done. But my family history and my family tradition is that the show must go on," he added.

A native and resident of Sarasota, Florida, Wallenda is the great-grandson of circus legend Karl Wallenda, who fell to his death during a wire walk in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1978. Wallenda, 31, said he hopes to keep performing on the high wires until he is no longer physically able.

"I want to be the first person in the world to walk across the Grand Canyon," he said, "and I have the permit to do it".


From Belfast Telegraph