Discovery Channel Captures Nik Wallenda's Historic Tightrope Crossing Over the Grand Canyon
(Los Angeles, Calif.) - Tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, "The King of the High Wire," has made history by becoming the first person ever to cross over the Grand Canyon. This was the highest tightrope walk ever attempted by Wallenda -- towering 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River, a height greater than the Empire State Building. Discovery Channel's SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA aired live across the United States and in 223 countries on Sunday, June 23.
"The Grand Canyon was a place I visited as a kid. For as long as I can remember, it has been a dream of mine to cross over such a spectacular setting," said 34-year-old Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of the legendary Flying Wallenda family. "I'm incredibly grateful to the Navajo Nation for allowing me to accomplish my dream and the Discovery Channel for trusting in my abilities."
"This was certainly history in the making," said Eileen O'Neill, Group President Discovery and TLC Networks. "Nik inspires so many people around the world to follow their dreams. We are incredibly proud to have brought this event into so many homes across the country and around the globe."
Wallenda walked over the canyon on a tightrope, approximately 1,400 feet across, without using any type of harness or restraint. Wallenda believes the harness creates a false sense of security and diminishes a craft that his family has spent generations learning to perfect. The untethered walk was also a chance to honor his great-grandfather, the legendary Karl Wallenda, who died after falling from a tightrope in Puerto Rico in 1978.
"A walk we'll never forget, it was quite an honor to produce this historic live event for Discovery," said Sharon Scott, President and GM of NBC News' Peacock Productions. "Nik's vision and lifelong dream, this was a remarkable project to collaborate on, and we congratulate Nik on achieving this astonishing milestone."
The tightrope crossing took place in a remote section of the Grand Canyon operated by the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation and served as a spectacular backdrop to the event.
"It was an honor to have Nik Wallenda and Discovery Channel broadcast the event from our tribal lands," said Geri Hongeva-Camarillo, Media Representative of the Navajo Parks and Recreation. "It was an opportunity to show the world the beauty that exists here and we hope that many viewers will make Navajo Nation one of their top destinations for travel."
"The mission of the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department is to protect, preserve and manage tribal parks, monuments and recreation areas for the enjoyment and benefit of the Navajo Nation," said Helen Webster, Park Manager of Navajo Parks and Recreation. "The broadcast showcased all the spectacular landscapes and areas of beauty and solitude."
Viewers around the world joined Team Wallenda through social media leading up to and during the historic walk. Discovery Channel shared insight about Nik, his family and training through videos, pictures, #Skywire Tweets and more. U.S. audiences also had the opportunity to go to SkywireLive.com and get Wired In through an immersive six-camera multiplatform experience complementing the live Discovery on-air event.
The Grand Canyon walk marks Nik Wallenda's eighth world record, including his 2012 tightrope walk directly over the Niagara Falls from the United States to Canada. He is currently planning his next major feat, which may include stringing a wire between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.
SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA was produced by Peacock Productions for Discovery with Gretchen Eisele, Knute Walker, Phil Alongi and Benjamin Ringe serving as executive producers. Howard Swartz serves as executive producer for Discovery. Other Executive Producers include Nik Wallenda, David Simone, Winston Simone and Shelley Ross. To learn more, go to skywire.discovery.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/discovery and on Twitter @Discovery.
About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.1 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 223 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than two billion cumulative subscribers in 223 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through 162 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Across the Nordic region, Discovery owns and operates SBS Discovery Media, a top-three portfolio of 20 television brands that feature leading nonfiction content, as well as locally produced entertainment programs, sports and the best scripted series and movies from major studios. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including Revision3. Discovery Networks International distributes 33 international brands, reaching over 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers with programming available in 45 languages. For more information please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.