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July 1st, 2013
11:53 PM ET

Nik Wallenda on deadly Cirque du Soleil accident: "It is dangerous what we do for sure...this sad loss of life is just proof of that"

On the heels of a tragic accident that left Cirque du Soleil performer Sarah Guillot-Guyard dead after a fall during the shows finale, on Monday evening "Piers Morgan Live" invited Nik Wallenda to share his professional insight.

Almost exactly one week prior to the accident at a Las Vegas casino, Wallenda – himself a daredevil tightrope-walker – covered a quarter mile trek, 15000 feet high above the Grand Canyon, praying every step of the way.

Speaking live with Piers Morgan, the seventh-generation member of The Flying Wallendas family reaffirmed the risk associated with his – and Guillot-Guyard's – chosen profession:

"It is dangerous what we do for sure," he admitted. "This sad loss of life is just proof of that."

In 1978, Wallenda's 73-year-old grandfather Karl Wallenda perished when he lost his balance and fell 121 feet to his death in Puerto Rico. More than three decades later, Nik continues the family tradition, which is rooted in practice, and preparation. As such, he said, he was entirely comfortable attempting his canyon walk:

"I've trained my entire life since I was two to actually go down and grab that wire. If there were any issues while crossing the Grand Canyon, that wire is always a safe haven, it's always at my feet, and gravity's always going to pull me down," he told the host. "We knew the winds weren't going to be strong enough to pick me up and blow me off that wire. And I would have went down and held on. I have rescue teams standing by."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with Wallenda, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Ned

    She was hanging from a wire with a harness in mid-air and not on a tight-rope, as Mr Wallenda was. The last comment he makes is a bit irrelevant to the story of the Cirque performer's death since she had nothing to grab onto.

    July 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mark

    "covered a quarter mile trek, 15000 feet high above the Grand Canyon" ? No it was 1500 feet CNN!

    July 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    Cirque du Soleil accident is so sad "It is dangerous what they do for sure...this sad loss of life is just proof of that. I wish the family the best. I hope the show goes on. I think we she would have wanted it that way.

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    December 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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