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Millions watch Wallenda walk across the roaring thunder of Niagara Falls

In the end, he made it look easy.

When Nik Wallenda stepped onto the 2-inch steel cable that spanned the rushing torrent of Niagara Falls shortly after 10 p.m. on Friday, he did so with grace and ease.

Clad in an eye-catching black-and-red jacket, Wallenda battled the elements -- darkness, fierce winds, swirling mists, the spray of cold water -- as he moved purposefully down the 1,800-foot tightrope.

Just 26 minutes later, when the funambulist from the world-famous performing family -- clan of heartbreak and hope, persistance and panache -- made it to his goal on the Canadian side, he did so with verve, jogging the final few yards of the wire.

In successfully crossing the span, Wallenda became the first person to walk across the falls in any form in well over a century -- since 1896.

He also became the first -- and perhaps only, ever -- person to walk over the very brink of the falls.

The next day, he said he had the strength to do it all over again.

We will long remember these things about Wallenda's walk.

But more than the history, more than the hype, we will remember this:

How he made it look like walking, not on steel, but on air.

-- Charity Vogel

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By the numbers

1,800 feet - Length of the tightrope

190 feet - Distance above the river

7 tons - Weight of the tightrope

26 minutes - Time it took to complete the walk

13.1 million - Number of viewers