Daredevil Nik Wallenda to walk on moving 400-foot-high ferris wheel
ORLANDO, FL (WFLA) – Famed Florida daredevil Nik Wallenda will perform one of his most unusual stunts to date: he’ll walk, untethered, atop the new, 400-foot-high Orlando Eye observation wheel.
Wallenda is scheduled to walk the six-inch, curved outer rim Wednesday morning.
The walk could take 3 to 5 minutes and Wallenda said he must avoid parts of the observation wheel as it rotates. He will take a gondola to the top of the wheel and walk out. Once on the rim, he will signal his father on a microphone and the wheel will begin spinning.
Wallenda told WFLA-TV he’s nervous because he’s had no training on this.
“This one is unique because, training for one, there’s really no way. I can train on a wire but that really doesn’t simulate a moving apparatus,” Wallenda explains.
When the organizers approached Wallenda about doing a stunt at the Orlando Eye, they suggested some sort of wire walk, but he said no. It was his idea to get to the top of the 400-foot wheel and walk on it.
“It’s easy to settle for what you’ve always done but for me, my life is about inspiring people and hopefully encouraging people to push themselves beyond what they think their limits are,” Wallenda says. “And if I’m not doing that for myself, how can I expect anybody else to follow that lead.”
He added, “There’s a lot of unknowns and the fact is that wheel is in control, I’m not running that motor. That motor is going to be spinning whether I like it or not so I have to keep up with that.”
Wallenda is married with three children and doesn’t take his events lightly. He prays, thinks about death and practices rigorously while coldly calculating risks.
The 36-year-old Sarasota resident is known for walking tightropes across Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and between Chicago skyscrapers.
“I don’t know how to rate whether [the Orlando Eye] is more dangerous than anything else, the truth is every walk that I do if I make one misstep and don’t catch that wire, I’m going to lose my life and it’s the same situation here.”
This walk will earn him a new world record, and he hopes it inspires others to always aim high.
“The danger is real in everything I do so it’s about me pushing myself to the next limit, making myself better and that’s really what I’ve lived my life doing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.