Canada nixes Wallenda's Niagara rope walk

Dec. 8, 2011 at 9:09 AM
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NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Canadian officials in Niagara Falls have denied daredevil Nik Wallenda's application to walk across the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope next summer.

Wednesday night, the Niagara Parks Commission voted to deny a permit for the stunt, planned for June, the Toronto Star reported.

The plan was for Wallenda to cross from Goat Island, which separates the U.S. falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, 1,800 feet across the gorge, on a 2-inch-wide steel cable to the Canadian side.

Parks Commissioner Janice Thomson told the Star there are safety concerns as well as a fear it would spur unauthorized copycat stunts. She said the event also didn't fit with long-term planning for the park region.

"Our current strategic plan is based on a move toward more of a natural environment, away from the sort of entertainment that this stunt would fall under," she said.

In late September, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill approved by lawmakers in June giving permission for the stunt, the Buffalo News reported.

Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Wallenda said he would appeal Ontario's denial to the provincial minister of tourism and culture, the Star said.

He is the fourth generation daredevil in his family and first independently walked a tightrope when he was 4, the report said.

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