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US daredevil completes Grand Canyon tightrope walk

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US daredevil Nik Wallenda became the first man to cross Grand Canyon on a tightrope Sunday, organizers said.

The 34-year-old, who walked across the Niagara Falls last year, said winds were higher than expected as he crossed a Canyon tributary gorge some 1,500 feet (457 meters) above the Little Colorado River in eastern Arizona.

He took just under 23 minutes to cross the 1,400 feet (426 meters) -- faster than anticipated -- giving a thumbs up and half-running the last several yards to reach the other side.

"My arms are aching like you couldn't believe," he said, as he hugged his wife and children after the nerve-wracking walk, broadcast live around the world.

Wallenda has been planning the walk for about four years, homing in on a remote location at the eastern end of the mighty geological chasm, on land operated by Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation.

He began final training in Florida weeks ago, boosting stamina by walking repeatedly along a 1,000-foot long rope and using wind machines to simulate gusts of up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) an hour.

mt/nss

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130623/us-daredevil-completes-grand-canyon-tightrope-walk