Nightly News   |  June 24, 2013

‘Thank you Jesus’: Daredevil crosses 1500-foot-high gorge

More than 13 million people watched daredevil Nik Wallenda make the terrifying walk on a 2-inch steel cable across the Little Colorado River Gorge as high winds threatened his balance. NBC’s Anne Thompson reports.

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>>> finally tonight, ratings are in, huge among those who could watch it, nick wallenda completed the longest ever high wire walk, across a gorge near the grand canyon as a lot of people listened in on his commentary. a report from anne thompson .

>> coming to you live.

>> reporter: 13 million people watched nik wallenda.

>> that's a view.

>> reporter: a terrifying walk on a steel cable just 2 inches wide, across the colorado river gorge near the grand canyon . wearing shoes made by his mom, listening to his dad's advice.

>> take your time.

>> reporter: the 34-year-old walked without a harness or net. 1,500 feet in the air higher than the empire state building . he seemed to feel his way with the feet. his narration a constant prayer.

>> thank you, jesus.

>> reporter: he spent weeks practicing in florida, using air boat fans and even walking during a hurricane. sweaty palms were produced in 117 countries. and his hometown of sarasota florida. he stopped twice three minutes in and halfway across. gusts that reached tropical storm force.

>> there is no stabilization on these cables, so a rhythm is building.

>> nik is the seventh generation of flying wallendas . his great grandfather karl fell to his death in 1978 . his life is his wife and three children.

>> if my wife came to me and said i don't want you to do this anymore. i would probably have to give it up.

>> close to the building end, a kiss to the family and ran the rest of the way. on terra firma , but not for long. his sights set on walking between,'s chrysler and empire state building . anne thompson , nbc news.