KING OF THE HIGHWIRE NIK WALLENDA AND HIS SISTER WALKED 25 STORIES ABOVE NEW YORK CITY’S TIMES SQUARE.
OCE was on the scene – behind the scenes – to consult with Nik Wallenda’s installation team for his latest stunt performed in Times Square on June 23.
We did not actually install the wire for the walk however, Wallenda was looking to have another set of experienced eyes to provide input and help with the planning and execution.
Randy Fletcher, a long time Site Superintendent for O’Connell, led OCE’s previous cable installations and was asked to accompany Wallenda’s team in NYC. “I think Nik has grown to trust our process and our capabilities,” said Fletcher. “These types of jobs are complex because they don’t happen often and there are a lot of variables to consider.” O’Connell wasn’t front and center for this installation, but Fletcher was plenty busy behind the scenes.
There was a lot at stake for this particular walk. Wallenda’s sister, Lijana Wallenda, completed the walk with her brother. It was her first attempt on the wire since the family’s devastating accident during a rehearsal at Circus Sarasota when both Nik and Lijana were part of an eight-person pyramid stunt that fell more than thirty feet to the ground in 2017. All of the performers survived, but Lijana broke all of the bones in her face.
Determined not to let the setback keep them from pursuing their passion, the Wallenda siblings returned to the skies to cross the 1,300-foot-long high wire 25 stories above street level across Times Square. The duo started at opposite ends and walked towards each other. Lijana sat on the wire as Nik walked over her during the stunt.
O’Connell Electric installed a cable for Wallenda in 2012 over Niagara Falls, in 2013 over the Grand Canyon, and two cables in 2014 between three skyscrapers in downtown Chicago.
This begs us to ask…. What’s next?