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Daredevil crosses Grand Canyon on a tightrope

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For US daredevil, Nik Wallenda walking over Niagara Falls on a tightrope last year wasn't enough. He needed something even more difficult and sensational – like walking across the world famous Grand Canyon, for example. 

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Nik Wallenda walks without any harnesses or any safety precautions on a tightrope stretched across the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon. Photo: AFP/JOE KLAMAR

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Daredevil crosses Grand Canyon on a tightrope

For some people, no challenge seems too great.

For US daredevil, Nik Wallenda walking over Niagara Falls on a tightrope last year wasn't enough. He needed something even more difficult and sensational – like walking across the world famous Grand Canyon, for example.

In fact, he had already been planning a Grand Canyon walk for several years, choosing an area at its eastern end. The walk would take him 457 metres above the Little Colorado River.

He would have nothing to protect him apart from his long balancing pole, no safety harness, no parachute.

He began final training in Florida weeks ago, boosting stamina by walking repeatedly along a 304-metre long rope and using wind machines to simulate gusts of up to 80 kilometres an hour.

He needed all the training he could get. On the day of his walk, last Sunday, the winds were strong, gusty and unpredictable.

"Just out of the blue there would be a 35 mile (56 kilometre) an hour gust," he said after his walk.

"My arms are aching like you couldn't believe," he added, while hugging his wife and children.

It took 23 nerve-racking minutes to complete the 426-metre walk from one side of the gorge to the other.

What's next for the 34-year old? It is hard to imagine.

Adapted from an AFP agency story.

A photo can’t tell the full story. This video will give you a good idea of just how dangerous the tightrope walk was.

harness – a set of strips of leather, etc. for fastening something to a person's body or to keep them from moving off or falling  เครื่องบังเหียน
precaution – an action taken to protect people or things against possible harm or trouble การป้องกันไว้ก่อน
tightrope – a piece of rope or wire high above the ground that a performer walks along in a circus. Someone who walks on a tightrope is called a tightrope walker. ลวดขึงตึง (ใช้เดินไต่ลวด)
stretch – to cause something to reach, often as far as possible, in a particular direction ขยายออก, ยืดออก
gorge – a deep valley with high straight sides where a river has cut through rock ช่องเขา,ช่องแคบระหว่างหุบเขา
canyon – a long deep valley with very steep sides หุบเขาลึก
daredevil – a person who enjoys doing dangerous things, in a way that other people may think is stupid คนที่กล้าทำในสิ่งที่เสี่ยงมาก
challenge – something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย
sensational – causing great surprise, excitement, or interest น่าดึงดูดใจ, น่าเร้าใจ, น่าตื่นเต้น
balance – the ability to keep steady with an equal amount of weight on each side  ความสมดุล, การทรงตัว
parachute – a device that is attached to people or objects to make them fall slowly and safely when they are dropped from an aircraft. It consists of a large piece of thin cloth that opens out in the air to form an umbrella shape  ร่มชูชีพ
boost – to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
stamina – the physical or mental strength that enables you to do something difficult for long periods of time ความทรหด,ความแข็งแรง,ความแข็งแกร่ง
simulate – to do or make something which looks real but is not real จำลอง
gust – a sudden strong increase in the amount and speed of wind that is blowing ลมพัดแรงทันที
unpredictable – changing often, in a way that is impossible to prepare for ซึ่งทำนายไม่ถูก, ซึ่งคาดไม่ได้
out of the blue – completely unexpected
ache – to feel a continuous dull pain ปวด, เจ็บ
hug –to put your arms round someone กอด
nerve-racking – making you very nervous or worried  เขย่าขวัญ, ซึ่งลำบากหรือหวาดกลัวอย่างที่สุด
imagine – to form a picture of something or someone in your mind นึกคิด, จินตนาการ, นึกฝัน

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