NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - He captured the imagination of Western New York and the world when he conquered Niagara Falls, and now daredevil Nik Wallenda has his sights set on an even higher challenge.
This Sunday, Wallenda will try and walk the high wire across the Grand Canyon - without a net and without a tether. In the Falls, Wallenda walked a wire approximately 1,800 feet while suspended 220 feet off the ground. His stunt at the Grand Canyon will be a bit shorter - approximately 1,400 feet - but he'll be seven times higher off the ground - 1,500 feet!
His walk over the Falls gave Wallenda a lasting legacy in the Cataract City, and one local boy hopes to follow in his footsteps.
A giant scroll signed by people from all over the world visiting the Falls will be presented to Wallenda after his Grand Canyon walk. And one of the star signers will be a 12-year-old boy who is walking on Wallenda's wire.
Vincenzo Bianco said, "I decided to get one that he's walked on before. So Nik Wallenda has walked on this cable. I think there's a little luck in it, that all I got to say."
Bianco was lucky enough to watch Wallenda rehearse up close the night before the big crossing and the night history was made. The boy had already begun practicing on a rope. Then he actually met the daredevil when Wallenda returned to Niagara Falls for a visit.
"He said, 'Well, when you're ready for a steel cable, just give me a call and I can get them for you,'" Bianco recalled.
The boy and the star now keep in touch.
Bianco said, "I mean, we just talk about tightroping and stuff of that matter."
His mom, Diane, added, "Every time he's in town he makes contact with Vincenzo, so he's an amazing person and he's really inspired Vincenzo to set his mind on something and never give up."
Wallenda has become Bianco's inspiration.
"Just the never give up attitude. I mean, anything's possible," Bianco said.
The 12-year-old says he is one-hundred percent confident Wallenda will successfully cross the Grand Canyon Sunday night.
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