Siblings cross Times Square in daring high-wire stunt

Siblings cross Times Square in daring high-wire stunt

Two siblings from the famed circus act the Flying Wallendas have completed a death-defying stunt, crossing New York’s Times Square on a high wire strung between two skyscrapers 25 storeys above the pavement.

Nik Wallenda is a seventh-generation acrobat, but this time, he said he was nervous.

His sister, Lijana Wallenda, joined him on Sunday night for the first time since her near-fatal accident in 2017, when she broke nearly every bone in her face.

Nik Wallenda was joined by his sister Lijana for the daring stunt (AP Photo/Jason Szenes)
Nik Wallenda was joined by his sister Lijana for the daring stunt (AP Photo/Jason Szenes)

The siblings walked from opposite ends of the 1,300-foot wire suspended between the towers, crossing each other in the middle, where Lijana sat on the wire and let her brother step over her.

Both then continued to the opposite side.

Their latest daredevil stunt was streamed live on US network ABC and watched by thousands of spectators from below.

The two were wearing tethered safety harnesses required by the city in case they fell.

The Wallenda family has been a star tightrope-walking troupe for generations, tracing their roots to 1780 in Austria-Hungary, when their ancestors travelled as a band of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, animal trainers, and trapeze artists.

The high wire was suspended 25 storeys above the pavement (AP Photo/Jason Szenes)
The high wire was suspended 25 storeys above the pavement (AP Photo/Jason Szenes)

They never use nets in live shows or in rehearsals.

In 1978, 73-year-old Karl Wallenda fell to his death from a high wire strung between two buildings in Puerto Rico.

In 1962, Karl Wallenda’s nephew and son-in-law died, and his son was paralysed, after a seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance.

Lijana’s fall happened during an attempt to break a Guinness world record with an eight-person pyramid.

Nik’s high-wire walks above Niagara Falls, the Chicago skyline, and the Little Colorado River Gorge near Grand Canyon National Park were broadcast on national television.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Paul Muldoon has gathered a motley crew for an Eclectic PicnicPaul Muldoon has gathered a motley crew for an Eclectic Picnic

Here's what it's like to try burlesque dancing for the first timeHere's what it's like to try burlesque dancing for the first time

After building sales for snack food firm Everest, founder Seamus Tighe is targeting exportsAfter building sales for snack food firm Everest, founder Seamus Tighe is targeting exports

Stylish and spacious €590,000 Castletroy home is a winnerStylish and spacious €590,000 Castletroy home is a winner

More in this Section

Missing toddler had driven himself to local fair on toy tractorMissing toddler had driven himself to local fair on toy tractor

TripAdvisor quotes LGBT+ hits in legal threat to Straight Pride organisersTripAdvisor quotes LGBT+ hits in legal threat to Straight Pride organisers

Inquisitive baby giraffe comes face to face with young rabbitInquisitive baby giraffe comes face to face with young rabbit

In Pictures: Anti-Brexit protesters float Boris Blimp outside ParliamentIn Pictures: Anti-Brexit protesters float Boris Blimp outside Parliament


Lifestyle

Trees along Dublin’s thoroughfares face a death sentence. In streets choked with vehicles, it’s proposed to cut them down so that buses can operate more efficiently.A little bit of nature a week is good for you

In the realms of the imagination, more is usually better. Why restrict ourselves to one make-believe island?Islands of Ireland: Last Buss to imaginary island

A new exhibition reminds us how electric kitchen appliances revolutionised life for women in rural Ireland in the 1950s and ‘60s, in the wake of the ESB’s massive scheme of rural electrification from 1946 until as late as the 1970s, writes Ellie O’Byrne.How electric-powered kitchen appliances revolutionised life for rural Ireland's women in the 50s

Javier Cercas’s new novel, ‘Lord of All the Dead’, is as preoccupied with the Spanish Civil War, the nature of heroism, and the distortions of history as his most famous, ‘Soldiers of Salamis’, says Alannah Hopkin .Book Review: Lord of All the Dead; Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas

More From The Irish Examiner