Nikolas "Nik" Wallenda was born "Nikolas Aaron Nathanial Troffer" on January 24, 1979 in Sarasota, Florida, to parents Terry Troffer and Delilah Wallenda. Nik's mother Delilah is the granddaughter of Karl and Helen Wallenda and is a sixth generation of Wallenda performers. Nik's father Terry has been a performer in the Wallendas high wire act and now serves as Nik's safety-coordinator, and rigger for his son's "Sky-Walks".
Nik, his mother Delilah and father Terry were all part of the seven person pyramid re-creation in Detroit, 1998. (see photo above in right column).
On Jan 3, 2000, Nik married Erendira Renee Vasquez. Erendira also comes from many generations of circus performers on both her mother's and father's side. Her Father Vinicio Vasquez comes from the "Flying Vasquez" family of trapeze artist.
Nik's began performing in the family's act at a very early age. As with most circus kids practicing for his future career began as play, imitating what he would see his parents do in their routines. Nik's early circus acts included clowning, juggling and a dog act. He seriously began training for the wire act at age 12, with the assistance of his Mother and Father. At age 13 he made his debut performance as a wire-walker.
In his youth Nik was not sure if he wanted to continue the family's circus tradition, however in at age 19, after performing in the seven person "Wallenda Pyramid", Nik new that the high wire was in in his blood.
In his "solo career" Nik has broken many world records and accomplished feats that no other circus performer would even attempt.
In 1923 when British mountain climber George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he replied "Because it's there". Niagara Falls is the Mount Everest of wire-walkers.
Many have attempted the walk: Jean François Gravelet-Blondin 1859, Maria Spelterini 1876 (The only woman to make the walk), Stephen Peer 1887 who died in the attempt , Samuel Dixon 1890, Clifford Calverly 1892 and James Hardy in 1896. All these previous dare-devils have walked across the gorge and over the Niagara River, Nik Wallenda is the first person to walk directly over the falls itself.
It would seem that the difficult part of the feat was dealing with both the United States and Canadian governments to obtain permission, and not the 25 minute, 1800 foot walk itself. It took Nik months of planning and negotiating to make it all happen.
At 10:16 PM EST on June 15, 2012, with over 100,000 spectators on hand and millions watching worldwide, Nik began his death-defying walk.
Nik's father Terry Troffer, stayed in constant contact with Nik, notifying him of changing conditions, updating Nik on his progress across the wire and softly speaking words of encouragement.
Perhaps not since the first moon landing in 1969, has there been such a worldwide unified gasp of relief as when Nik completed the Niagara Falls walk.
The Chicago Skywalk
On November 2, 2014, with over 50,000 spectators in Chicago and millions more watching on the Discovery Channel in 220 countries Nik has successfully completed his latest breathtaking "Skyscraper Walk", 671 feet above the streets below.
The first walk was on an incline from the Marina Tower West to the Leo Burnett Building a distance of 420 feet. Nik completed the first walk in under 6 minutes.The second walk was again from the Marina Tower West to the Marina Tower East this time blindfolded. The second walk was completed in 1 minute, 17 seconds.
The temperature was 47° degrees with a 10 to 15 mph wind. The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore was on hand providing Nik with weather updates.
Due to last minute changes in the rigging, the angle of his incline walk increased from 15° to 19°.
Nik's lastest Feat: The Orlando Eye
As part of the grand opening ceremonies of the "Orlando Eye" Nik performed his latest stunt.
Nik walked on the 6 inch wide rim of the 400 foot tall wheel as it rotates beneath him. This is different from his previous skywalks since the rotation of the giant wheel set the pace of the walk.
Nik successfully completed his "Orlando Eye" walk on April 29, 2015.
After the Chicago walk Nik announced that sometime next year (2015) he would like to recreate his great grandfather's 1970 Tallulah Falls, Georgia walk, yet another chapter in the amazing life and career of Nik Wallenda.
Stay Tuned we will keep you informed.
Buy Nik Wallenda's New Book online
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