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That Time Karl Wallenda Traversed The Vet By High Wire

Nik Wallenda successfully tight roped over 500 feet above the Chicago streets last night in a TV-spectacle called "Skyscraper Live" — including one stretch blindfolded. Spoiler alert, we know. Do you remember the time when Karl Wallenda, Nik's legendary great-grandfather and founder of The Flying Wallendas, rather ho-humly did his tight rope thing across the 640-foot expanse of Veterans Stadium in 1972? And by ho-humly we mean great-grand pappy Wallenda overcame high winds and slack in the wire to wow the crowds at The Vet in between a doubleheader. Yeah.

The Inquirer profiled the death-defying walk during the final days of The Vet and described the type of conditions Wallenda had to make it through while 31,000 fans held their collective breath.

"When Wallenda arrived at Veterans Stadium that morning in 1972, he almost canceled. The wire was nowhere taut enough. Forty Phillies employees had to hold the ends of the cable in an effort to maintain proper tension. Then, midway through his skywalk, as 31,000 fans sat in rapt silence, Wallenda, carrying a huge pole for balance and wearing tiny ballet slippers for traction, sat down.

"It was swaying so much," Wallenda said, "I thought I might have to give up."

He not only didn't give up, but over second base, he did a headstand."

We have but one word: Legend. Last night's spectacle saw Nik Wallenda high above the Windy City in a dual-stunt. His first walk took him from Marina City Towers to the Leo Burnett Building complete with a tortuous 15 degree incline. The second was a shorter 94 foot walk between the each of the Marina Towers — blindfolded.
· My week with the 'Great Wallenda' [Philly Burbs]
· Remembering Karl Wallenda's tightrope walk across Veterans Stadium, 40 years later [The Inquirer]
· Daredevil Nik Wallenda Breaks 2 Records Over Chicago [NBC10]