The Sarasota City Commission allowed the stunt without a tether. Wallenda wore a tether for the first time last summer when he walked across Niagara Falls because the television network that was paying for the performance insisted on it.
Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family. His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died.
But Wallenda wasn't focused on the possibility of tragedy. In the hours before the stunt, Wallenda walked underneath the wire, which was suspended between a crane and a condo in downtown Sarasota. He spoke of his city, of the nearby sparkling bay and how he loved to hear the cheers of the crowd while hundreds of feet up in the air.
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