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Nik Wallenda walks the tight rope over US 41 | News

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Nik Wallenda walks the tight rope over US 41

UPDATE: Famed tightrope walker Nik Wallenda crossed 200 feet over an oceanfront highway in Sarasota on a wire without a safety harness or net.

The circus performer and six-time Guinness World Record holder carried out the stunt Tuesday on a sunny but windy morning. He says there was more wind than he expected and the cables were moving "quite a bit."

PHOTOS: Nik Wallenda's Skywalk at Bayfront Park

The Sarasota City Commission allowed the stunt without a tether. Wallenda wore a tether for the first time last summer when he walked across Niagara Falls, because the television network that was paying for the performance insisted on it.

Wallenda started his Sarasota Skywalk at Bayfront Park. The wire ends at the Marina Tower Condominium, and part of U.S. 41 was shut down during the walk.

Earlier Report:

Sarasota, Florida -- The tight rope is up 200 feet in the air over US 41 in Sarasota...waiting for Nik Wallenda to take the 600 feet walk from Marina Jack to the Marina Tower condo building.

Is he nervous? Nah...

"Fear is a choice, but danger is real and that's something I have to deal with on a daily basis," Wallenda said.

"The difficulty usually comes in the planning part of it. The actual walk is the fun part, that's what I love doing, that's my passion. Walking the wire, it's been in my family for over 200 years, 7 generations. The difficult part is getting the permission from the city," he said.

Even permission, he admits, wasn't all that difficult. Although, he was initially asked to wear a tether...just in case.

"The commissioners eventually jumped on board and said, you know, this isn't the fashion that Nik Wallenda does this, this is the circus capital of the world, let's let him do it the way the Wallenda's do things," he told 10 News.

Wallenda will be hoisted 200 feet into the air by crane at 11am when he's scheduled to make the walk.

While it seems dangerous, it's likely nothing compared to his successful walk across Niagra Falls last year.

Follow 10 News Reporter Laura Byrne on twitter @lbyrne10news

Every walk comes with its challenges though. Wind will be among the challenges he'll face this morning.

"It's stuff I've trained for my entire life. I've trained with heavy winds up to 90 miles per hour for Niagra Falls, so it's all about the preparation that goes into this," he explained.

We asked why he's chosen to make the walk today.

"This is the city I love, I have passion for, I was born and raised in and I wanted to do something to give back to the city that supported me," he said.

If you want to watch, it's recommended you park in the Palm parking garage and walk to the site in the area of US 41 and Ringling Blvd or take the shuttle from the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.

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