STUNT siblings the Flying Wallendas conquered the New York skyline last night – performing a death-defying tightrope walk 25 storeys above Times Square.
Nik and Lijana Wallenda completed the never-before-attempted challenge to traverse the dizzying 1,300ft-long wire between two towers at either end of the packed tourist hotspot.
Nik Wallenda during the death-defying tightrope walk across Times Square on Sunday night[/caption]
The most nerve-wracking moment was when Nik had to step over a crouched Lijana at the half-way point 25-storeys above Times Square[/caption]
Lijana completed the journey in 36 minutes just two years after her near-death accident resulted in her nearly breaking every bone in her face[/caption]
It was all the more special for Lijana who performed for the first time since her near-fatal accident in 2017 – when she broke nearly every bone in her face.
Lijana needed as many as 72 reconstructive pins after she plunged 40ft during rehearsals for an attempted an eight-person pyramid stunt.
But she told herself “fear will not overcome me” and sang hymns as she confidently walked across the Times Square rope above thousands of spectators and live on the ABC network.
She crossed the 3/4-inch-wide wire in 36 minutes, while her brother Nik – who started at the opposite end of the rope – made his crossing in 26 minutes.
I knew I’d get back on the wire. It’s my life. It’s my passion
Nik started the walk by saying: “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.”
The most nerve-wracking moment during the spectacle was half-way through when seventh-generation acrobat Nik had to step over his crouched sister so each could continue their journeys.
Earlier, Lijana told ABC: “I knew I’d get back on the wire. It’s my life. It’s my passion.
“This is who I am. This is what I love. it’s still hard sometimes. I doubt sometimes.
“But I put my trust completely in god and believe he has given me the mental strength.”
The siblings successfully crossed each other on the 3/4-inch-wide tightrope last night[/caption]
The pair successfully crossed the 1,300ft-long wire across Times Square in 36 minutes[/caption]
Lijana sat on the wire to let her brother pass above her[/caption]
They were wearing tethered safety harnesses required by the city in case they fell – which both were happy to following Lijana’s recent trauma.
Before the daring walk, Nik told The Wrap: “In this situation especially, with my sister involved, I do feel like it’s very important.
“With everything that she’s gone through, and that near-fatal accident that she went through a couple years ago that we were all involved in, I just think it’s important.”
He added: “To be honest, I don’t think that I would allow her to do this — not that I control her, but I just wouldn’t be comfortable.
“And I feel like I would be foolish at that point.
“So, for this one it was a little easier to comply than normal, though it is not my favourite situation, it’s not the ideal situation.”
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The Wallendas are a family of acrobats and dare-devils dating back to the 1700s in Austria-Hungary.
Nik Wallenda currently holds several Guinness World Records.
He’s best known for crossing the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls on tight-wires.
A beaming Lijana finished the epic journey after 36 minutes[/caption]
Nik and Lijana share a warm embrace after the siblings successfully completed their death-defying stunt[/caption]
Lijana broke nearly every bone in her face and needed 72 reconstructive pins after a 40ft horror fall in 2017[/caption]
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