|Man on a wire|
The world held its breath in the ringside seats earlier this morning (UK time; 8pm yesterday US time) as Nik Wallenda put circus skills back in the centre ring with a daredevil high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon.
The 22 minute, quarter mile stroll through mid-air saw the 34-year-old balancing on a 2-inch-thick steel cable 1500-feet above the Little Colorado River while cameras attached to the funambulist showed TV viewers the stomach-turning drop beneath his feet.
"It took every bit of me to focus the entire time," said Nik, who had to contend with 30mph winds, and twice kneel on the wire to "get the rhythm out of it."
Watch a clip here and, to paraphrase Nik's great-grandfather Karl Wallenda, marvel at what a man can do!
Karl would have been proud. But then, Nik was so high in the sky his ancestor was probably right there on the wire with him.
Coming soon on the Circus Mania blog: More about the famous Wallendas in my round-up of great circus books. As for what it takes to walk on a wire, read my interview with Spain's Alexa Leconte in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away With The Circus.