ML - Vegas Magazine

2013 - Issue 7 - November

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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Page 89 of 131

TIME KEEPER The Nik of Time NIK WALLENDA WOWED VEGAS THRILL-SEEKERS THIS SUMMER WITH A TIGHTROPE WALK ACROSS THE LITTLE COLORADO RIVER GORGE—AND DELIGHTED LOCAL WATCH LOVERS BY ANNOUNCING A PARTNERSHIP WITH JEANRICHARD AT JCK. BY ROBERTA NAAS "I don't like to be a second late for anything, especially a walk." 88 PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM BOYLES (WALLENDA) "F ulfilling." This is the word that Nik Wallenda, seventh-generation scion of the legendary Great Flying Wallendas, uses to sum up his summer walk on a high wire across the Little Colorado River Gorge, near the Grand Canyon. "It is a dream come true, and something that I have wanted to do my entire life," says the 34-year-old Wallenda of his 1,400-foot walk on a twoinch steel cable 1,500 feet above the ground. "I try to challenge myself to do things that no one else in the world has done." He walked across Niagara Falls in 2012—another feat that helped earn him the moniker "King of the High Wire." A father of three, Wallenda says even his kids are now walking a wire—albeit in their backyard and just two feet off the ground. Wallenda took on another role this year: brand ambassador for JeanRichard. He partnered with the Swiss watch brand just weeks before making his trek across the gorge—and wearing his JeanRichard Terrascope watch while doing it. According to Wallenda, timing is crucial in his world: "I don't like to be a second late for anything, especially a walk, but that's TOP: Wallenda walks untethered 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River. difficult when it's televised live. They seem to make you wait awhile." ABOVE: Wallenda wears a JeanRichard Terrascope, in stainless steel with a The walk took just under 23 minutes, a bit longer than he had anticipated polished and vertically satin-finished case and an antireflective crystal. due to incredibly strong winds, but he says the challenge taught him to In addition, Wallenda is always careful to preserve the pristine sites where respect nature's power: "I've been walking on a wire since I was 2, just a year shorter than I've been walking on the ground. I've planned for this walk for he performs his spectacular feats. "It is extremely important to me that after five years, and every step is strategized. The only thing we can't account for my walks, everything is exactly as it was before," he says. "In rigging the walk over the falls, the cable never was allowed to touch the water at Niagara. At is nature—a wind gust, updraft, back draft can come at any time." What makes the walk even more remarkable is that Wallenda accom- the canyon, areas for equipment and viewing were designated and all other plished it totally untethered. While he says he's confident that if he had areas were set off-limits to avoid disrupting the natural environment. I always intend to respect and appreciate the surroundings." fallen, he would have been able to grab the wire and Wallenda adds that his real bucket-list dream is to be pulled to safety in minutes by his safety team do a walk in the heart of Las Vegas. "I would love to (headed by his father), he still bows to forces beyond do a walk over the Vegas Strip," he says, "perhaps his control, noting that the hardest thing about what casino to casino, or maybe along the length of the he does is the mental preparation. He trains five days Strip, perhaps a New Year's event." a week for five hours a day, with wind machines and For more watch features and expanded coverage, go other apparatus that simulate nature's elements, but for him the key is mentally visualizing his walks. —NIK WALLENDA to V VEGASMAGAZINE.COM 088_V_SS_TimeKeeper_Nov13.indd 88 10/22/13 10:42 AM

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