Wallenda's canyon walk named 'Top TV Moment of the Year'

mclear@bradenton.comSeptember 24, 2013 

Manatee County residents aren't the only ones who thought Nik Wallenda's walk across the Grand Canyon was the coolest thing on TV in the past year.

The CBS Emmy Awards website invited the public to vote for the "Top TV Moment of the Year." Wallenda's walk was the runaway winner.

"He doesn't get an Emmy, but he does get the honor of winning this vote," said Wallenda manager Winston Simone. "And it's quite

an honor because he was up against some really significant television moments, such as the last episode of 'The Office.'"

The site gave the public 10 choices for best moment.

Besides Wallenda's walk and "The Office" finale, the choices were the Bob Marley Tribute at the Grammy Awards, coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, the Super Bowl blackout, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globe Awards show, the "Mother" episode of "How I Met Your Mother," the "Red Wedding" episode of "Game of Thrones," Hurricane Sandy coverage and Kristen Wiig's farewell on "Saturday Night Live."

This comment about the poll appeared on Wallenda's Facebook page Friday afternoon: "We did it! 'Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda' won Emmy's top TV moment of the year! Thank you friends, family, and fans for all of your support! I couldn't have done it without you guys! Never give up!"

"Skywire Live" was the title of the Discovery Channel's live coverage of Wallenda's 22-minute high-wire walk some 1,500 feet above the Grand Canyon on a high wire June 24.

He was the first person to attempt the crossing and about 21-million people watched and listened as he completed it.

Wallenda's next scheduled walk won't be quite as spectacular. He and his sister, Lijana Wallenda Hernandez, will perform a dual skywalk 140 feet off the ground Oct. 12 prior to the start of the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

They'll begin from opposite ends of a 500-foot cable, crossing paths along the way.

The speedway walk will be about one-third the length and one-seventh the height of the Grand Canyon crossing. But Wallenda, who lives in Bradenton, said crossing the speedway carries its own challenges.

"We take every walk seriously, whether it's 20 feet off the ground or 200 feet," he said. "You can't let up for a second. One of the challenges is entertaining the crowd. I always keep that in mind."

The Charlotte Observer contributed to this story.

Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.

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