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Nik Wallenda and Sister Lijana Successfully Complete ‘Highwire Live’ Tightrope Walk Above Times Square

NYC stunt — and ABC stunt programming — went off without a hitch

Cakewalk: Nik Wallenda and his sister Lijana successfully traversed a 1,300-foot tightrope walk Sunday night — 25 stories above New York City’s Times Square — for ABC’s “Highwire Live in Times Square With Nik Wallenda.”

Their shared cable was just 3/4” thick, or about the size of a quarter. Nik and Lijana, who wore safety harnesses, crossed each other in the middle. He stepped over her, making for a (particularly) tense moment — especially considering Nik had to temporarily unhook Lijana’s harness for the bypass.

Nik and Lijana were both mic’d up and able to communicate with each other the whole time. Lijana, who started and finished later than Nik, did a bit of singing to pass the time — and presumably to calm the nerves.

The televised stunt took a while to get going: The “Highwire Live” broadcast started at 8 p.m. ET, but Nik and Lijana didn’t start walking until 9:20 p.m. ET. Both were safe and sound by 9:57 p.m. ET. That’s when we all finally took a breath.

Sunday’s primetime special was a long time coming — particularly for Lijana.

In 2017, Lijana was one of five performers who fell off a tightrope while attempting an eight-person pyramid stunt during a Circus Sarasota rehearsal. Lijana was severely injured in the 30-foot fall and has been recovering ever since.

“Highwire Live” marked her return to performing on a tightrope.

Readers may remember Nik, who is the face of the Flying Wallendas’ seventh generation, for his 2012 walk across Niagara Falls. That one was also on ABC.

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