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Tightrope Walkers

Athletes don’t just come packaged as NBA power forwards or NHL goalies. In fact, some of the world’s most talented athletes do things you’ve probably never even heard of. Take tightrope walking for instance.

Often associated with the circus, the tightrope takes the concentration of a Major League Baseball power-hitter and the balance of an Olympic gymnast and combines it with the daring of a base jumper.

The Academy Award-winning film “Man on Wire” is the story of tightrope walker Philippe Petit. Petit is the man who managed to string a tightrope between the two World Trade Centre towers in New York and walk back and forth between them.

Before they were destroyed on Sept 11, 2001 the World Trade Center’s twin towers stood 110 stories tall, 1350 feet off the ground. In the movie, Petit says he trained most of his life for the walk.

However, Petit’s is not even the highest tightrope act ever performed. That belongs to American Rick Wallenda who performed a record breaking walk 2000 feet off the ground at Kings Island in 2008.

So, while hitting a three-pointer to win the NBA Championship takes great skill, we’d like to see Kobe Bryant try and walk across a tight rope nearly a mile off the ground. Not likely.

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