Tightrope Walker Crosses Gorge near the Grand Canyon

July 30, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. daredevil [DAIR-dev-uh l] (n.) – a person who likes doing dangerous things
ExampleDaredevils enjoy exciting activities like bungee jumping and sky diving.  

2. gorge [gawrj] (n.) – a deep and narrow space between two hills or mountains
Example: We saw the gorge between high mountains as the airplane flew over the land of Arizona.

3. tightrope [TAHYT-rohp] (n.)  – a stretched wire hanging above the ground in which a performer walks on
 Example: The circus performer fell from the tightrope after losing his balance.

4. stunt [stuhnt] (n.) – a difficult and often dangerous performance that displays a person’s special skill
Example: My father enjoys watching action movies with a lot of special effects and scary stunts.

5. pan [pan] (v.) to criticize heavily
Example: The critics panned the circus management for giving low quality performances.


Read the text below.
Well-known daredevil Nik Wallenda has successfully crossed the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona on a steel cable without any form of safety devices.

Wallenda, now 34, is famous for his dangerous tightrope walks. In fact, he holds seven Guinness world records. In 2012, he also became the first person to ever complete a similar stunt over the Niagara [nahy-AG-ruh, -AG-er-uh] Falls in New York.

His most recent achievement was broadcasted on television last month. For almost 23 minutes, Wallenda walked over a two-inch tightrope that was a quarter of a mile long. The tightrope was also suspended 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River.

Wallenda has always dreamed of walking above the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Prior to the event, Wallenda expressed confidence that he could safely perform the stunt. Having a family has also become one of his inspirations in finishing the tightrope walk.

Although Wallenda’s attempt was a success, critics are still panning on how the event was misleading. Wallenda claims that he has crossed the Grand Canyon, when in fact; he crossed only the gorge above the Navajo Nation near the said canyon.

Some members of the Navajo Nation have also become worried that the dangerous event may just be a publicity stunt.

Nonetheless, a spokesperson from the tribe took the event positively, believing that broadcasting the event can actually tell the world that the Novajo culture and tradition still remain.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think such stunts exciting or dangerous? Why do you say so?
·         Why do you think daredevils enjoy such dangerous stunts?

Discussion B

·         Do you think conquering one’s fears is important? Why or why not?
·         How can people best conquer their fears?


July 30, 2013