I was born and raised in Niagara Falls making Friday nights wire walk that much more spectacular. I have a real love for my hometown and worked many years serving tourists at Marineland, the Floral Clock and even Tablerock right at the brink where Nik did his historical stroll. Being that my dad still lives in Niagara Falls I knew that I would be making the trip to witness the walk in person.
We found a spot above the falls in front of what used to be the Sheraton Fallsview. Some people had been there for hours – we had 90 minutes to wait before the scheduled departure. We made friends with a few of the people and I shared all the interesting tweets that were being posted on the topic.
At the time the walk started I called a friend who was in front of the TV, who could give me the play by play on what was happening – all we could see was mist and camera flashes. I think it was almost fifteen minutes that had passed before we saw Nik’s small figure appear out of the mist having had forgotten just how massive the horseshoe falls actually are. We all cheered and held our breath as he continued.
My father and I actually had to head in to the lobby bar to see him finish on TV since the building below blocked our view. Seeing it on TV was even more spectacular with the shots ABC got of the raging waters below and the dialogue with Nik. The bar patrons erupted in to cheers as he jogged to the platform.
Many people have criticized Nik’s use of the tether and his lobbying for donations and I cannot understand why! He didn’t want to where the tether and after watching him I am sure he didn’t have any plans to use it. And as for the funding requests – he covered the enormous costs of permits and erecting his wire. Yes, ABC paid him a bit but look at what he has done for the Niagara area and the audiences:
- has anyone estimated what the value of that exposure would be if it was to be bought?
- all the hotels, restaurants and souvenir stores that were filled with people spending money on an off-peak weekend
- the entertainment and inspiration he provided to everyone who watched
All of the above was done with risk to his safety and his own finances. Nik seems to be a genuinely nice guy who has gone in to his family’s line of business and had a dream to be the best at it.
Nik, I thank you for a wonderful evening that I got to share with my dad, for the memories and the inspiration.
I just donated to the campaign and so can you! Donate here.