Jay Cochrane poses between the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and the Hilton Hotel above Niagara Falls, Canada, with the majestic Horseshoe Falls at his back on 14 June 2005, the first day of a summer of skywalks covering a distance of 650 feet and 400 feet above the ground. Over the summer of 2005, he performed this walk daily as weather permitted and completed over 50 journeys on the wire, covering a distance over six miles in the sky.
I can still remember the smiles on Jay's face as he saluted the crowd during every walk, standing on one foot and hand raised, his signature flourish from the sky. His athleticism was superb. On one of the walks, he stepped out onto the wire, suddenly stopping before stepping over the first guideline connector as the wind began blowing much harder than forecasted. In a mind-blowing display of his strength, he fought the wind as he walked backwards to the roof where he began. He later told me, "If I had stepped over the connector, I was committed to going all the way forward. The wind was blowing so hard I couldn't lift my foot from the wire. I had to slide my feet backwards to get back to the roof. If I had lifted my foot, the wind would have thrown me right off."
Jay should have been the performer skywalking over Niagara Falls. This should be the model for the statue of Jay Cochrane at the visitors center in Niagara Falls, Canada. I hope it happens.
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