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Wallendas seek to "inspire," give Falls valuable free publicity with new stunt

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The countdown is on for today's planned stunt over Niagara Falls by the famous Wallenda family.

WBFO's Michael Mroziak will have live reports and the event will be captured on Facebook Live.

Nik and Erendira Wallenda hosted a news conference Wednesday morning outside the Seneca Niagara Casino, the location where Mrs. Wallenda's flight to the falls will begin. Her husband explained that Erendira will attempt to break his world record for the height from which one hangs by one's teeth. She'll attempt to do it beneath a helicopter at a range of 250 to 300 feet.

She will also perform some other stunts while beneath the helicopter, which will be positioned above the Horseshoe Falls. 

A chance of rain is n today's forecast, but Mrs. Wallenda said the only condition that would force postponement is lightning. She's ready to perform if there is a breeze or raindrops.

"We live in Florida and during the summertime, around three o'clock, it's always pouring," she said. "Just like Nikolas, I always try to go out and practice in the worst weather possible."

The Wallendas confirmed she will be tethered, just as Nik Wallenda was when he successfully completed his high-wire walk over the Niagara Gorge five years ago, because of New York State labor laws. 

Just as local tourism officials stated on Tuesday, the Wallendas say this stunt is being carried out as a made-for-TV event. The public will be allowed to view the event from the park, officials stated, but Mr. Wallenda says the purpose of putting this on television is to give Niagara Falls, a town they remain fond of since the original high-wire stunt, millions of dollars worth of free publicity worldwide.

It also continues the family's mission to inspire others with a message that "nothing is impossible."

"That's what you're going to witness tomorrow morning," Nik Wallenda said. "My wife hanging by nothing but her teeth under a helicopter 300 feet up, if that doesn't inspire women and mothers and girls around the world, I don't know what will."

The stunt is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., beginning at the Seneca Niagara Casino parking garage, where Mrs. Wallenda will be lifted and carried toward the Horseshoe Falls. After she performs her stunts, which are expected to take about seven minutes, the helicopter will return to the casino. Mr. Wallenda will be aboard, communicating with his wife during the performance.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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