January 30, 2013

C is for Circus

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Well, the timing of the letter C couldn't have been better for me.  World renowned circus performer and Sarasota native Nik Wallenda successfully completed another daring skywalk yesterday morning in downtown Sarasota. Way up high, above the treetops, 180 feet in the air, Nik walked over U.S. 41 on a high wire from a crane along Sarasota Bay to the top of a condo building without a safety harness or net. 

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It was a bit more blustery than Nik anticipated and there were some issues with the crew jerking a line on the ground, but he made his 600 foot journey seem effortless one step at a time.  Just like his walk across Niagara Falls last summer, Nik wore a microphone and he talked live on television during the entire event explaining what was going on moment to moment.

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As you can imagine, the estimated 10,000-12,000 spectators gathered on the ground at the bayfront to watch Nik's death defying feat, were captivated by the nerve wracking stunt (including yours truly).

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A self professed showman at heart, Nik couldn't help but wow the crowd about three-quarters of the way through the walk, by kneeling on the itty bitty wire and pumping his fist.  (By the way, the balance pole he was carrying weighs 45 pounds and is 42 feet long.)  What balance, strength and concentration!

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With spectators craning to watch from neighboring balconies, Nik 'ran' the last several steps and safely landed on the condo building...

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...much to the delight of those of all ages.  He completed the skywalk in just eight minutes -- not even long enough to get a kink in your neck from looking up.

Nik's high wire act was a publicity event for Circus Sarasota, where Nik performed twice last night after this walk.  There's a long history of circus performers in his family with direct ties to the Flying Wallendas.  And, Sarasota is also well known for its history with the circus, going back to the 1930's when John Ringling (as in the Ringling Bros. circus)  established Sarasota as the winter home for the circus, and subsequently had a tremendous impact on the development of the city.  As for the current circus generation, Nik already has his eye on his next mind boggling feat:  walking over the Grand Canyon on a high wire without a safety harness on live television this summer. We couldn't be more proud of our hometown hero.  Go get 'em, Nik!   Check out other interesting submissions for the letter C at ABC Wednesday.

19 comments:

cieldequimper said...

I don't think I could have watched that.

We are: clamco said...

C is also for crazy! I think I was holding my breath while reading this post. Wow! Great photos. I love the one of the little girl. :)

Andy said...

Wow! You had a perfect view of the whole thing. You really got a great collection of photos.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Love the photo of the photographers and the expression of delight on the little girl's face.

Michelle said...

Whew. I am glad he made it and it just seems crazy to me to attempt something like that!

Lea said...

Amazing! What delight on the little girl's face!
Have a wonderful day!
Lea
Lea's Menagerie

SFlaGuy said...

Your coverage of the event was better than last nights news. Maybe you should look into those press credentials.

Marleen said...

This is totally amazing. I love the photo's you made!
Thanks for visiting.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

OMG well done Nik! I can't believe he didn't have a safety net SRQ, did you all hold your breath until he ran those last few steps? I absolutely love your last shot, it sums up the mood of the audience perfectly!

Halcyon said...

He really is amazing. I would have loved to see his walk at Niagara in person, but it was still spectacular on TV. Glad you were able to catch this event. Love that little girl in your last shot. :)

LONDONLULU said...

I almost had to hold my breath, following this photo-series. What captures and what an event! Lovely C choice.

Roger Owen Green said...

that is a HIGH wire!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

LOLfromPasa said...

What a great job you have done here!! Just wonderful to see this collection - all beautifully photographed. Terrific!!!!

Lowell said...

That's mind-boggling! How does he do that?

The bigger question, of course, is "Why does he do that?" Must be a huge adrenalin rush.

Kathy said...

Wow! What great photos you got! You had a perfect vantage point (along with the other thousands of people!). I'm impressed with all the photos, but the one of the little girl at the end is just precious!

Kay said...

Like everyone else, I agree on the last shot: that little girl is a show-stealer - such a cutie! The high wire act? Impressive!

Jack said...

A terrific series of photos, SRQ. I read about this feat and saw it on the news, and I wondered whether you would be there. Silly me! Of course you would.

The final shot of that little girl clapping her hands in glee is the kind of shot we all want to capture. Kudos. Time to hit management up for a raise.

Kate said...

All your photos are mesmerizing! What an event to witness. Photos of the spectators are remarkable!

Ali Crehan said...

All these photos are great, but I especially love the little girl at the end - her expression is priceless!