The highest temperature ever for May 20 in Niagara Falls was 85 degrees (29 degrees Celsius) — until now. Nik Wallenda trained in record heat today at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.
It was a busy day for Nik, as he woke up at dawn for a helicopter ride over the falls and coverage on the Canadian side with the crew from 60 Minutes Australia. (Nik also participated in a sit-down interview with the crew inside Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel this afternoon — photo below.) The wind and mist machines that may come on site tomorrow would be a welcome addition for Nik — not just for training purposes, but because temperatures will continue to be in the 80’s.
Nik’s schedule is packed nearly 24 hours a day at this point, between media interviews, meetings with officials, and permits to review for both the training site and the June 15 historic walk over Niagara Falls. “It’ll be good to get back to Florida and practice with some quiet,” said Wallenda, “but the training here is certainly helpful in terms of the fine-tuning adjustments we continue to make with the wire. Safety is our number-one priority, but I also want the wire to feel as comfortable as possible.”
A few other things we learned at today’s media/public debriefing at noon:
- Nik fiinally tried — and enjoyed — chicken wings.
- Unbeknownst to many, Nik has walked the practice wire at night in order to prepare for the 10 p.m. walk on June 15.
- The only time Nik ever felt uneasy on the wire was when the back wheel of his bicycle spun a bit for his Guinness Book of World Records stunt over a wire, performed live on the Today Show in 2008.
- Nik believes that wearing a tether on June 15 would actually be a hinderance to his safety.
Joining the public crowd today was a local actress playing the part of Annie Edson Taylor (see photos below), who was the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, in 1901. She is buried in Oakwood Cemetary in Niagara Falls, NY. (Editor’s note: We do NOT recommend going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.)