The term Skywalk originated in the early seventies when Karl Wallenda began walking great lengths across stadiums. First the stunt, after the Tallulah Gorge walk, July 18, 1970, was performed at sporting events in huge stadiums, but later expanded to other venues. No name existed for this new stunt. At a meeting with the Philadelphia Phillies, Bill Hall suggested the term, and it remains to this day.
Rick Wallenda still performs this stunt at many venues, first capturing the walk that killed the patriarch in San Juan, stretching the wire from one building to the other, and completing the walk. The stunt aired on NBC in a show titled Daredevils. Other successful walks include walking from the ground up to nine stories in Osaka, Japan. Disneyland brought Wallenda to Anaheim to walk across their Main Street. He also walked the National Stadium in Kingston Jamaica during a thrill show, and for two seasons appeared at Sea World of Ohio as part of a thrill show, walking over the entire stadium several times daily.
On July 4, 2008, Wallenda walked a wire stretched from a crane to the Eiffel Tower at Kings Island, in Ohio. The wire reached one thousand feet long over the ground rising and falling making great heights. Karl performed the same stunt in the same location in 1974, walking one direction, reversing, and returning to his starting point. In 2008, Rick Wallenda performed the same stunt, but lengthened the wire to span a total of two thousand feet—exceeding the limits of tradition, and setting a new record. The Skywalk tradition continues, and Rick seeks the next opportunity to stretch beyond the limits with one of several world records in mind.
Most recently Rick walked a span at the top of the Fargo Dome in Fargo, ND. Rick continues capturing walks his grandfather completed in his Walks of Remembrance.
Mr. Wallenda’s appeal attracts the media, and spectators alike. Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo wrote in his book, Monkeys on the Interstate, that Wallenda’s Skywalk over the tiger pen brought 15,000 people to the zoo, and garnished the front page of the Columbus Dispatch.